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Backstage Passes for Blood Donation: Saving Lives Never Sounded So Good

Music Saves Lives is helping the national blood supply by encouraging youth to donate blood at rock concerts around the country.

Our lives are filled with traffic, shopping, school, work, and all the family stuff in between. We barely have time to think about how the milk gets into the gallon jug, or how they mix the gas and get it to the gas stations and we never think about how the hospitals have the emergency supplies ready and waiting. Our lives are busy, but a health issue requiring a blood transfusion will someday affect every one of us. It might not be you, personally, but it will be friend or family member. You may not be able to control the way milk gets to the grocery store, or how gas is formulated to work in your car, but you have the power to #GiveBlood and make a difference in the lives of those that need a transplant, or have cancer, or have been in a traumatic situation.

Seven years ago I set out to change a national problem that many people didn’t know about. Every summer hospitals all over the U.S. are put on notice that the blood supply is below what is needed to keep them with ample supplies. The reason this happens in the summer is that almost 30 percent of all blood donations come from College and High School blood drives. Summer rolls around and students are on vacation. I needed to find a way to change the attitude about blood donation and that it wasn’t just something kids could do while in school. I needed to connect it to a lifestyle that every young person could relate to. I needed to find a way that music—one of the most common links in every kid’s world—could save lives.

How could music save lives? What if, you could meet your favorite band, maybe go back stage, or get some sort of VIP pass to a concert? Would that motivate you to donate blood?

That was the hope when I started the organization Music Saves Lives in 2005. Today, Music Saves Lives reaches thousands of young people by partnering with music events to send those who have donated blood back stage; to meet bands at concerts like the Vans Warped Tour; at festivals like Epicenter; or at Music Fest North West. By partnering with such high profile music shows, our efforts have considerably changed the summer blood supply in many cities all over the U.S. and added over 7 percent to the entire nation’s blood supply during June, July and August.

Not everyone is ready to donate blood, but what we hope is that you focus on the lives you may be helping to save by donating blood. By giving a single pint of blood, you may help save as many as three lives. You will feel just a slight pinch, and it's over in seconds. The difference you can make may last a lifetime.

We hope at Music Saves Lives that you get involved, run a blood drive, or tell someone you know that can donate to get out and save a life. If you love music, and you want to get involved, download the new Music Saves Lives App for your smart phone and earn your VIP badge by being part of the efforts of Music Saves Lives. Search Music Saves Lives on iTunes or your App Store. Saving Lives Never Sounded So Good.

This post is part of the GOOD community's 50 Building Blocks of Citizenship. This week: Give Blood. Follow along, join the discussion, and share your experience at #goodcitizen.\n

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