Birthday ‘blood parties’ become lifesaving trend

Idea originated on Facebook to celebrate one's birthday by inviting guests to join in donating a pint of blood to MDA.

JOYCE FISCHLER, MDA medics at blood party 390 (photo credit: MDA)
JOYCE FISCHLER, MDA medics at blood party 390
(photo credit: MDA)
The most generous way to celebrate one’s birthday is to organize a “blood party,” in which the person honored and the attendees each donate a pint of blood to Magen David Adom. The organization facilitates this by sending a mobile donation center to the event location, or providing space at the nearest MDA branch.
The idea originated on Facebook and has spread. Joyce Fischler, a Tel Aviv resident, decided to mark her 32nd birthday with a life-saving blood party. Appropriately, the letters comprising the Hebrew word “lev,” which means heart, have a numeric value of 32.
She sent off the invitations via Facebook after MDA happily agreed to host the party.
More than 30 of her friends came to the Tel Aviv station on Friday and were served cookies and cakes. Thirty-two of the guests rolled up their sleeves and gave blood as their gift to Fischler.
The party took place the same week that MDA issued statistics showing that blood donations around the country declined somewhat in 2011 – with 303,630 pints donated by 243,000 people, or 3.8 percent of the population.
In 2010, 4.2% of Israelis gave blood.
MDA director-general Eli Bin said he welcomed Fischler’s initiative.
“If each of us remembers to give blood only once a year on one’s birthday, there will be no more blood shortages. Everyone can do something for the country in this way and join the national effort to save lives.”