By Hayley Hervieux
You may know someone whose life has been impacted by blood donors. You may have seen the trucks, or even participated in a blood drive or two. Many of us, over the course of our lives, have donated at least once. After all, blood is vital to life. What could be more important?
If you want to see someone who has taken this to heart, look to Jim Landing. He’s a pretty remarkable guy.
Jim volunteers at the Gulf Coast Blood Center in Houston. He has been volunteering for 10 years, and giving blood for even longer. Jim’s pretty lucky: His employer supports his mission and lets him keep his appointments with the blood center. And he has a lot of them.
In fact, Jim is one of 11 people in the Houston area who have given more than 100 gallons in their lifetimes. To put that in perspective, the human body contains on average about 10 to 12 pints of blood at any given time. It takes eight pints to make a single gallon. Now multiply that by 100.
The amount of time and energy it would take to donate a combined amount of more than 100 gallons is amazing in itself. Donations are generally about a pint, which takes a month to regain. It took Jim at least 15 years to give an incredible 135 gallons of recorded donations.
But Jim doesn't stop there. For more than 10 years, he has also been volunteering his time at the Gulf Coast Blood Center. He helps make schedules and often helps out at the mobile units as a volunteer rather than a donor. Volunteers do everything from paperwork to passing out T-shirts and snacks.
What would motivate someone to give so much of their time and body to a cause? It started off very simply. Members of Jim's family had been in the hospital and needed donations. He saw the impact that just a simple donation could make. So he chose to make it part of his routine. And so it went, one donation at a time.
For Jim, giving is his way of giving back and being a part of something that truly saves lives. He sees the reward in other people—people who wouldn't be alive without the vital service that blood donors provide. At dinners for the donors, recipients often speak—and the impact of their stories is huge. They tell of their life-changing experiences, and how they are still alive because of the time and donations of the donors.
Jim has been married to his wife, Brenda, for twelve years. After seeing the amount of time and work he put into this, she was amazed. He does so much for the cause that he inspires others to become blood donors as well.
“He never looks for a reward or thanks,” she says. “ He sees it as a way of giving back. People don’t even know he’s doing it. The recipients don’t know it’s from him.”
Leading up to the June 1 Andrus Award nomination deadline, we’re profiling some of 2012’s amazing nominees. Every single person nominated deserves recognition for the incredible work they do in their local communities. If you know someone like this, be sure to nominate them before June 1!
Have you met these folks yet?