I've learned that in this country it generally takes three tries before you can actually get anything done, and giving blood is no exception.
Attempt #1: Yeshiva had a blood drive, but we run out of time and I'm am forced to walk away without being able to do this great mitzvah.
Attempt #2: Last Sunday I go to the Blood Bank and and am told that I can't give because I had an upset stomach that morning (the price one pays for eating all of that Shabbos food)
Attempt #3: Success!
For those of you who have never had the privilege of giving blood, I'll tall you a little about my experience.
When you walk into the blood bank you are asked to fill out a form consisting of questions like "Did you live in England between the years of 1985 and 1998?" and other's that are too inappropriate for this blog.
They then take you into a room where they repeat every single question to you-all while completely ignoring the answers that you are are giving them.
Then you sit in a bed for the actual procedure. I happened to be feeling a little queasy at this point (I'm not the biggest fan of needles) and without really any warning the woman there grabbed my are strapped a rubber band around my bicep and JAM, stuck the needle straight in (I'm assuming that these people are professionals-at least the blood started coming out right away and they didn't have to "dig" for it).
Then I'm basically sitting there for about 10 minutes waiting for this machine to fill up the little bag that contains enough room for one "unit" of blood (not sure exactly how much a unit is...). Then the Jamming Lady comes back and yanks the needle out of my arm and tells me to eat cookies (who am I to argue with that...), and press the cotton on the whole that the needle made.
Then I walked out and actually felt completely fine. I had been expecting to feel a little queasy but the only symptom was that I felt a little more tired later in the day. Got a good night's sleep and was back to normal the next morning.
Now for the request: If you are in Israel, whether you live here or are only visiting, it is a tremendous mitzvah to give blood. I can personally vouch for the (relativly) painless process, in which you're in and out in under an hour. Think about it, the more blood they get in the bank the better.