I was so moved today by the prospect of a passion project that I took some time on a Friday night to get it done. Let me present the #RedJeans project over at redjeans.org. I've found myself wanting to work on a project that came purely from the heart and one that was very dear to me, something that is personal, and connects with a larger community of people in the world.
The idea for redjeans.org came to me as a hint when I was writing up my reflection for 2018. I realised that I didn't spend quite as much time identifying with and working with a community. I did a bit of soul-searching and found that one of the activities I really enjoyed and cherished in years past is donating blood -- and I keep wondering why not more people do it. It was an idle thought but then a conversation with someone where I described why I wrote down "donate blood more often" in 2019 became an idea where instead of just me doing it, how about if I get my friends to do it too?
I left it at that for the rest of the afternoon, but as soon as I started writing my end-of-day reflections it hit me: why am I just thinking about getting my friends to do it, why not get as many people we can reach do it too? That idea hit me while I was on the train heading home after a long day. When I got home and started settling down I realised: there's no reason to delay this project further.
So overnight I got the domain, set up the email addresses, got a blog up and running, and then proceeded to tweak the design and set up an email newsletter.
The rationale for the name and the whole project is described in the initial blog post which I quote here.
"I named the site Red Jeans because my mom’s name is Jean and I owe a great debt of gratitude to the anonymous blood donors, without whom my mother could have perished, that fateful day decades ago. I could have lost my mom then and 30+ years in I’m inspired to do something to encourage more people to donate blood regularly.
"The vision I have in my head when I get the chance to donate blood myself is that someday soon the blood might help another mother giving birth and give them a chance to be around to raise their child. I think about what that mother might still be able to do and the life the child will have with that mother. I wish they have the same chances my mom and I did throughout my wonderful life."
If you feel the same about this, I'd really like to hear your stories too!
The call to action is simple, let's use #RedJeans in social media and describe how you or someone you know have benefitted from a life-saving blood transfusion, and point them to the website (redjeans.org) or the twitter account (twitter.com/redjeansorg). If you're organising a blood donation drive, post pictures of the party/event and use #RedJeans on social media too.
I'd love to hear your thoughts and would appreciate very much your support in this effort.