Yesterday, I went to the American Red Cross blood drive at work and gave blood. I haven't done this since college, when I looked at it as a chance to get free sandwiches, feel charitable and sneak in a free HIV and Hepatitis exam.
Free sandwiches don't do much for me anymore, and I'm clean as a whistle when it comes to sexual cooties, so I guess here in my maturity I'm driven more by the feeling of true charity - giving my blood for the of another whom I will never know.
Of course there are some other 'perk' motivations:
-NutterButters - I'm not sure if this is part of Nabisco's marketing plan, but these delicious little bastards are in my eyes the unofficially official cookie of blood drives. Something about their perfect concentration of high-fructose corn syrup, saturated fat and creamy, imitation peanut-butter byproduct filling makes them the perfect antidote to the sudden loss of blood sugar at a volunteer blood-letting. Have you ever seen a blood drive where Nutter Butters weren't part of the forced 15 minute observation period? I haven't.
-Lowering Your Tolerance - leaking 1 pint (or about 5%) of your blood and promptly replacing it with a pint of booze means that pint of booze instantly has a higher effect on your BAC than it would have before you'd lost all that blood. It's fantastic, really, like being a freshman in college all over again.
-The Chance to See Something Freaky - saw one girl totally lose consciousness, regain consciousness and then throw up. It looked dangerous - a familiar risk at blood drives but it never seems to lose its allure. Between the pin pricks, ten gauge needles, and bags of your own vital fluid - it's a lot for some people to stomach. The fear or the pain or the impact of the injury (it makes no difference to your body that you're volunteering), there are plenty of reasons to pass out.