If you’ve ever donated blood – good for you! Every day people are in need of this precious resource and most people have the ability to donate on a regular basis, perhaps saving someone’s life. If you’ve ever thought about giving blood but haven’t yet made the commitment, I encourage you to do so. I thought about it for a very long time – probably more than a decade – before I finally took the leap and made my inaugural appointment. This past September, I visited Canadian Blood Services and made my first donation; I felt amazing. You can read about my experience a little more in depth here.

If you’re on the fence about donating, please consider the following 9 incredible reasons why donating blood is a great choice.

1. Simply put, you could save a life.

2. Presuming you meet the requirements, you always have blood ready to give. It costs you nothing, just about an hour of your time.

3. Perhaps you know someone special who can use it; there is no greater gift.

4. If you have a rare blood type, or a universal one, you could offer a donation that many people could not.

5. According to both the American Red Cross and Canadian Blood Services, one pint of blood could save up to three lives.

6. You genuinely feel good when your finish, like you’ve done something truly great.

7. It’s free! How many things are free these days? Here’s a great one.

8. Giving blood can be a great group activity. Encourage your colleagues, family members or friends to donate with you and make a mini-event out of it. You’ll all feel terrific once you’re done.

9. You can enjoy a couple of guilt-free cookies after your donation!

It took me a long time to commit to donating, but now I’m proud to say that I’ve donated three times, all 56 days apart, which is the minimum requirement. My next appointment is in a few weeks. As long as I can, I’ll continue to offer this free donation. I may never know who my blood is helping, but I will always know that I’ve done a good thing. It’s simple, and it’s well worth the hour of your time every eight weeks or however often you can.