What have we become?

Ours is a country of many problems and a powerful youth. BloodConnect is a classic example of how a group of motivated young students can tackle any problem. Being a youth run NGO, BloodConnect provides innumerable opportunities to its members enabling them to discover their potential and hone their skills.

In due course of being a part of BloodConnect, the members grow into the kind of individuals they once only looked up to.

Talking to families of patients, arranging donors, organizing camps, pitching to people, encouraging them to donate, all these bring us out of our comfort zone and redefine our understanding of the world around us. Members holding the positions of Vice President, Managers or Executives of any departments get lucky chances to make contacts, develop corporate relations, brainstorm over ideas that help the cause, activate their leadership quality and in due course, develop their personality.

BloodConnect develops its members into people that have a can-do attitude and are willing to challenge themselves to grow. For certain, BloodConnect is not the sole reason for the success of its members but it surely has helped them achieve greater heights. Our member, Shivani Garg, who was the Vice President of the Camps department, got through Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. For Shivani her work in BloodConnect helped her ace her interview. Another one of our members, Navdha Khera, made it through Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. Like these, many of our members are placed in some big corporate firms like Bain & Company, Facebook, Ola, CarDekho.com, Opera Solutions, etc.

Over the past 6 years we’ve had honest, diligent and passionate people working as members of BloodConnect and they are the ones to be accredited for the success of BloodConnect as an organisation. In return BloodConnect has proved for them to be a stepping stone to success.

BloodConnect prepares its members better for the future and helps them understand the role they play in making the world a better place, thereby motivating them on the social as well as the emotional front.

BloodConnect has helped us find the best in ourselves , a fact that all our members can attest to.

The experiences we have had, the friends and memories we make in BloodConnect, are going to stay with us for life. It is definitely not cakewalk, but then facing and conquering the challenges are what keep us motivated and strong.

So what do we do?

In the last article I talked of how the shortage is seemingly very little. Also, how our main focus is primarily, on how to get that last two percent of people to donate.

Now you can probably understand why this is really not as easy as it sounds. But we have been over that before, and I am not really a rambler. Today I want to tell you how we go about this. How we, as an organization, try to dismantle the stereotypes that people hold in their minds; things they have heard, things they have been told, or maybe just a general lack of awareness. In our past six years we have gained a few, lost a few. But what lies below is what we have learned till now.

The issue of blood shortage is manifold, in the sense that there are several avenues through which we can work.

In order to make sure that no life is lost for want of blood, we at Blood connect provide a 360 degree solution to the problem.

BloodConnect conducts blood donation camps in various cities (usually in colleges, corporates, or RWAs) across India in association with government blood banks. Blood camps work mainly because they save the donor a trip to the blood bank.

But, there are several other NGOs that do that.

What we do differently, is that we innovate camps by making them theme­based, using social media and by dis-incentivising donation, making it voluntary. Theme-based camps work because from the point of view of a donor, each camp is different. Every time they visit a camp, the music is different, the posters are different, even our mementos are different. Also for our selfie obsessed junta, you can imagine that it will be very difficult fro them to take a selfie while they are donating blood, and I think that is primarily because they don’t really allow you to move that much. So in addition, to enhance donor experience we have photo booths  where they can get themselves clicked.

 

At the camps we have a team of doctors who  check if the donor is healthy enough to donate blood. To ensure the safety of both the donor and the recipient, donors’ health history is discussed as a part of the donation process before any blood is collected. Each donor undergoes s a brief examination during which temperature, pulse, blood pressure and hemoglobin (or hematocrit) are measured. After this procedure, if found healthy, 1 unit (around 350mL of blood) is collected from the donor.

We also improve awareness about blood donation by organizing Street Plays, Info-Talks, Competitions, presentations, and  interactive activities wherein we talk about the myths and facts associated with blood donation. This is a very important part of our working, because a vast majority of people who do not donate blood are actually not even aware that such a thing is absolutely doable.

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For people who require blood urgently, we have a 24×7 student run helpline with the sole aim of helping those in dire need of blood. The way this works, is that we have a database of donors who are willing to donate in such emergency situations (if there is a shortage in their area of residence/work). When we receive a request for blood, we run through this database and try to look for a donor.

The Helpline department, in fact, is the most basic, and I am going to take the liberty of saying: the most essential part of our organization, given that is actually how BloodConnect started. It targets the need for blood at the grass-root level- where we provide blood directly to those who need it.

These are broadly the three areas in which we work. We call them ‘ground level activities’, because that is exactly what they are. They target the problem right where it exists. The lack of awareness, shortage in blood banks, and urgent requirements in hospitals.

This  way we have  established a network of youth across the country to assist in the movement.

Hang on for the next post, comes on 30th April!

 

 

 

 

On our 6th anniversary we present…

6 Reasons why you should donate at Letzchange.

Today, on our 6th Birthday, we thought of giving you 6 amazing reasons to donate at LetzChange. But, before we tell you why you should donate, we’ve listed down all the important things you need to know about the donation.

 

WHAT IS LETZCHANGE :

  • LetzChange is a non-profit organization helping people raise money for vetted and verified Indian NGO projects online. It has been created solely to enable you to support projects that alleviate suffering and provide long-term solutions.
  • LetzChange does not charge a fee for its service and all donations go directly to the NGO for maximum impact.

 

ABOUT BLOODCONNECT :

  • India faces a shortage of 3 million blood units. This shortage can easily be eliminated if only an additional 2% of India’s youth donates blood.
  • To make this possible, BloodConnect acts as a channel connecting voluntary blood donors with those who need blood. It is a youth-run organization and provides free help and specially works to target the poor and the needy.
  • Since its inception, the organization has grown a lot in terms of working for this cause. BloodConnect has developed a 360 degree solution to the problem of blood shortage.

 

Whether it’s your friend who came to you, asking you to donate some money to her NGO through the fundraising website, or you read about it on social media, or if you simply came to know about us and don’t know how, here are a few reasons why you should donate to us.

 

  1. In case you’re out of those who love to / wish to donate blood but can’t (due to whatsoever  reason), this is the perfect chance to give in your contribution to help us save the world.

You may not be able to donate blood, but you will be contributing to the million other things that need to be taken care of during blood donation.

 

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  1. You don’t have to worry about the cash being used for the right reason and reaching the right people. In fact, no worries about cash. It’s all by card and on the net in front of you. No hidden hacks, we promise!

 

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  1. If you’re out of those who donate blood regularly, and wonder, “I donate blood. Why do I need to give money?” then here is why you should :

 

Firstly, Congratulations! It’s a wonderful thing you’re doing. Each time you donate, you’re saving three lives. Of course you know how many lives you must have lit by now. We’re so glad to come across wonderful people like you.

But, to answer your question, when you want to eat something, do you just buy the vegetables from out? Of course you don’t. Having them is sure shot the primary need. But you can’t really eat it unless you don’t put in efforts to cook it.  

 

That is exactly how it works with donation as well. Blood donation is important, but so are monetary donations. Being a part of the privileged section of the society, we must take this up as our responsibility to do something for the ones who are struggling to pass each day. 🙂

 

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  1. Magical Multiplication (1)  : Did we tell you how much difference each of you will make? For each 100Rs you donate, we will receive 700Rs, which will in turn help us make a huge difference. Trust us when we say each donation counts 🙂

 

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  1. Magic Multiplication (2) : For every 100Rs you donate, you also help us save 10 lives through our emergency helpline number! Only a mere thought of it feels great, isn’t it? We’re sure you can imagine how great it would be when you actually make it happen 😀

 

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  1. The simple pleasure of having helped the ones in need. We haven’t come across one single person who isn’t happy to help and we’re quite sure you feel the same. We’ve heard, good things always come around. May be that is why we’re hoping you’ll help us 🙂

 

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For giving in your donations and more details, please click on the link below and do your bit of making a difference.

https://letzchange.org/projects/help-organise-blood-donation-camps

 

We believe making a difference is completely in our hands and the very first step would be doing it ourselves!

 

Stay healthy, Stay fresh and save lives!

BloodConnect.

 

Why I do what I do

Welcome to BloodConnect’s very first blog post!

BloodConnect is an entirely student run NGO that works in the field of voluntary blood donation. Started by a group of motivated individuals in 2010 in IIT Delhi, we have now expanded to 15 cities in India, including Bangalore, Agra, Chennai, and Kolkata.

Now that the customary introduction is out of the way, we are not going to pretend that we are a bunch of world changing, all knowing, super idealistic individuals who know everything about blood shortage. Because let’s be honest here, we do not. What we do know though, and this I can say with absolute conviction, is that the problem exists, and that it affects enough people for us to recognize a need to work towards eradicating it. In our six years we have made a difference, but we are still a long way from solving the problem in its entirety but we are closer than we were yesterday, and that is what keeps us going.

Statistics say that in India, there is a need for 12 million units (1 unit = approx. 350 ml) of blood annually, out of which only 9 million is satisfied. That may seem like not-such-a-bad situation to some of you, but if I told you that if only 2% more people donated blood, we could overcome this shortage, then you would agree that hell, there are probably, really, no mountains to be moved- and this challenge we can work on!

This fact, my dear friends, is what drives us.

Now, imagine this: The latest edition of your favourite game (say, FIFA ’ 16) is finally here. You, the FIFA addict, scramble to download it. You are almost quite there. 95%… 96 %… 97% … 98%… Download failed. What will you do? Restart again, and wait for it to download. You patiently wait for that two percent to download. You check for the internet connection, see if all the wires are up and good, and keep on trying.

This is the closest I can come with an example that a lot of you might be able to relate with. The target of eliminating blood shortage seems so achievable, that we keep on pushing ourselves for it to happen and going by our conviction, it will, certainly.

What we were surprised to find out though, when we started, was that a lot of college students were quite eager to come forward to donate blood. And then there were others, the skeptical ones. The latter hold misconceptions and have some inherent reluctance which make them averse to blood donation. And yet again, there are others, who think that there are already enough people out there who donate blood- so their contribution is not needed.

Herein lies our main challenge – the biggest misconception that we have been trying to get rid of,to make people understand that they matter.  All of us matter. It’s in the little things we do, that make this world a better place.

In our subsequent posts, we will go about telling you how exactly we achieve the task of trying to increase voluntary blood donations in the country. Also, we will introduce you to our dynamic team, the people who make it all happen.

Keep up guys, there are indispensable life lessons we have for you.

Stay tuned, next post comes live on April 15!