At one point in all of our lives, we have all donated something to help others. Whether we gave money to a charitable donation, or old clothes and furniture to a second-hand shop, or our time and efforts to an organization of values – by nature we as humans are givers. Together, our donations can make a huge impact.


What is it about the act of giving, be it money, possessions, or our time, that compels us? If you’re looking for a scientific reason – in a 2006 study, the National Institute of Health found that the act of giving activates a region of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, creating a “warm glowing” feel. If you’re looking for an “Explain it like I’m 5” reason, check out the book Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister.


The act of giving makes people feel good. So good, it’s become deeply ingrained in human nature. Over time, anything, and almost everything has been donated from one set of hands to another. But the big three have always been money, clothes, and time. However, a lifesaving item is almost always left off the list, even though it is given by the millions globally: blood.


Blood donation and transfusions can be traced back to the mid-1600s, and just last year alone, over 118 million units of blood were donated globally.

On a local scale, the YMCA of Silicon Valley partnered with Vitalant, and other local organizations (The San Jose Sharks, The San Jose Earthquakes, El Camino Hospital, Mt. Pleasant High School’s Interact Club) to receive almost 500 units of blood last year. Each unit of blood has the potential of saving up to three lives. The blood drives hosted by the YMCA of Silicon Valley will save 1,500 lives – equivalent to every student and faculty member at Mt. Pleasant High School.   


The YMCA is the 6th largest charitable organization in the United States, so if you want to become a donor, you’re at the right place. Visit to learn more about how you can donate today.