Krystiana Compton has a pretty awesome resolution for 2016: she'll give to a different local organization every month—and share her experiences. You can follow along each month to read about where Krystiana has gotten involved, and maybe find some new opportunities to give back to our community. I have many goals for 2016, and one thing I knew I wanted to do was to make giving back to others more of a priority. I think it is so important for our souls to be active in being selfless. In addition to giving to our United Way fund, I decided that each month I would pick a non-profit organization to either donate money, my time, or both. I wanted to give to a different organization each month to broaden my knowledge on what type of resources are out there for our community, and then share my different experiences with others. Since January was National Blood Donor Month I decided I needed to make an appointment with the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center. I went to their website and was pleasantly surprised by how user friendly it is. I searched for the satellite location that was close to me and made my appointment online. I also even got a text reminder. I love those. I donated platelets at the STBTC's Shavano Donor Room on Saturday, January 30th. This was my first experience donating platelets rather than just whole blood. It's a longer process, one that can take up to 2 hours. I was tested and cleared to give two units. Since they are taking blood out, separating the platelets, and then putting the blood back in (which is room temperature by that time) you get pretty cold, so they provide a heated blanket, warm compresses, and as many cozy blankets as your heart desires. Plus, they have a great supply of movies to watch while you are donating. I picked Lincoln - I'd been wanting to see it! This is also a great time to finish that novel you've been meaning to get to! So what are platelets? Who is this benefiting and why should you donate too? I'm so happy you asked! One platelet donation can provide as many platelets as 12 -18 whole blood donations. Platelets are small blood cells that help control bleeding. Cancer patients receiving chemotherapy often need regular transfusions of platelets, as well as organ transplant patients that have weakened immune systems. This reduces the risk of serious or life-threatening blood loss. The need is great for platelet donations. Donors with A+, B+, and AB blood types are encouraged to donate platelets. You can donate platelets up to 24 times a year. For more information regarding the whos, whats, wheres, and whys of donating, please contact the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center at 210-731-5555 or visit southtexasblood.org. Donating blood matters. Giving matters. Volunteering matters. If we want to realize the vision of a deeply engaged community in 2020, we all have to get involved. San Antonio isn't on track to meet our goals in philanthropy or volunteerism\u001f—goals that, perhaps more than any others, can be reached entirely by individuals. I hope you enjoy following my giving experiences in 2016, and maybe get inspired to do a little more of your own to help move our city forward!