When I was in high school in Hong Kong, the soldiers we were stationed with had regular blood clinics. They received a pint of beer for the pints of blood they gave. Back in the United Kingdom, I started to donate blood, but I was not a soldier so I got cups of tea and biscuits. Still the right thing to do.
After I came to Canada in 1981 and a couple of years later, I started donating again with then the Red Cross, now Canadian Blood Services, and have not stopped since. My donation totals now are around 96 units and I should make it to a hundred before my 70th birthday.
In 2016 I had a medical emergency. An artery burst on me so I had an aneurism. I was in hospital for 10 days, over the first two I was in two hospitals, flown from Ajax to Toronto by helicopter and they finally fixed the problem in St-Mike's in Toronto. In those first two days or so, I needed 28 units of blood. Without all of those other blood donors that also give regularly I would be dead. All of the blood in my body was replaced three times over by both hospitals and the paramedics that cared for me. Now, every time I give I am aware of that 28 unit deficit in my original total and feel I am going to be making up for it for a while. I am glad I am part of this community and all those other people are too. Thanks to them I am still here and will still donate as long as I am allowed to.