Take my blood, I want a burrito

Donate for what you feel is right in your heart, not your stomach

By Michelle DeShon, Opinion Editor

I was sitting in class as my stomach let out an angry growl. It’d been hours since I’d had breakfast. Even though I still had a salad with fruits and vegetables in the second pouch of my backpack, I thought, “I should go give blood so I can get Chipotle.”

It’s somewhat unethical, I know. I’m embarrassed by it, but it made me realize that a free burrito in trade for our blood may not be the best idea.

The American Red Cross recently finished up a blood drive at The University of Akron last week. We have all seen the signs with the giant foil-wrapped Chipotle burrito that tempts students to give blood in exchange for a massive burrito. While I think it is a good measure to get people in the door to donate, it takes the integrity out of donating.

A post on The University of Akron’s Facebook page said, “Want some free Chipotle? Donate blood today at The University of Akron Student Recreation and Wellness Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and receive a Chipotle gift card while supplies last!”

On the day I turned 17, I donated blood with my twin sister. It was something I looked forward to doing because I genuinely want to help others. I was nervous about getting poked with a needle (still am, honestly!), but once finished I felt proud as I ate a mini bag of cookies and sipped a can of Coca-Cola. My decision that day to donate was driven by my passion to help others, and I felt that somehow I was doing my part to make the world a better place.

The last time that I donated, which was my first time donating at The University of Akron, I did not get that same sense of pride. As I finished up donating and sat drinking my pop, I felt my stomach growl, and I rushed to Chipotle. I felt hunger rather than pride and greed rather than gratification.

I have no doubt that other students didn’t have the same thought about donating blood in exchange for some guacamole goodness, but I think it changes the intention of donating. I urge you to keep in mind the reason why you are donating and do it for the right reason. Do it for what you feel is right in your heart, not your stomach.