Donating Blood To A Friend of a Friend

by admin on September 6, 2016

Here’s an occasion when the aftermath of doing something selfless created feelings of selfishness:

Pamela is a business associate, someone I have worked with remotely on two projects. We are Facebook friends but have never met in person or even spoken on the phone. Several months ago, Pamela sent out a desperate appeal to her entire Facebook contact list begging for blood platelet donations for her friend who was in serious condition at a local cancer institute. She stated that she herself would be at the institute night and day and would gladly “come hold your hand” during the donation procedure for anyone who could help out.

I replied directly to her post and said that I made an appointment to donate platelets at the cancer institute for her friend. I also sent her a personal message and told her the time of my appointment and said that while I didn’t need her to hold my hand, I would love to finally meet her if she was on the campus. I didn’t hear back from her and there was no further reply from her on her original post.

Two days later I kept my appointment and made the donation. I have given blood to the Red Cross many times but this was the first time I donated platelets. As I understand it, your blood is pumped out, run through a separator and the plasma, minus the platelets, is returned to your body, along with an anti-coagulant agent. The process took several hours; it was uncomfortable, but not painful. Pamela did not stop by while I was there and I didn’t want to disturb her if she was with her friend. That night I sent her another personal message telling her that I had made my donation to be directed to her friend and that since it was fairly easy, I would be happy to do it again after the two or three weeks recovery period required between donations. I asked her to tell me if he still needed it so I could direct the next donation to him, otherwise I would probably do a general donation to the hospital at a later date.

I expected that I would hear back from Pamela, but days went by, turned into weeks and I had no response from her at all. She continued to post to Facebook often, never with news of her friend’s condition, just the usual pictures of her dogs and photos of restaurant meals and shopping trips.

I had donated the platelets to benefit someone I didn’t know because I wanted to do something good and I hope that friends of friends would do the same for me if ever I needed it. Blood donation is something you can do that doesn’t cost you anything but can make a huge difference to those who need it. I don’t have money to donate to causes, but a totally renewable resource produced by my body is little sacrifice. However, as the weeks went by I was starting to dwell on the feeling of being used and ignored and I felt bad that I was allowing myself to harbor these petty feelings. Even more time went by with no acknowledgment from Pamela at all. More Facebook photos of her dogs…

Then, one day she made a random Facebook post about how good karma was benefiting her life. Now, I’m not proud of myself, but I posted a somewhat passive-aggressive reply addressing her total lack of acknowledgement toward someone who had answered her appeal for help. She responded that she was much too busy to read every single message that people sent her and thus didn’t even know that I had answered her call for help weeks before. She said, correctly, that the hospital would not divulge the names of donors.

Am I being selfish in thinking that she should have at least followed up on her own Facebook page to see who answered her appeal and gave their blood cells at her request? “Thank you” goes a long way when someone does you a favor. Does the fact that I got upset that I wasn’t thanked or even acknowledged mean that I did it for the wrong reasons in the first place?   0819-16

I have several thoughts, as usual.    My father donated gallons of blood and I don’t know how many platelets over the years and never knew who would be the recipient of his body’s gifts.   There are certain circumstances that we should view as expressions of altruism that are for the common good. You donate blood and platelets because it helps someone down the road.

The favor you did was to the cancer victim, not your friend Pamela, and since the hospital will not divulge names of donors,  unless Pamela informs her friend of your appointment, there is no way for that person to thank you.

I think you’ll be happier if you move on.

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

o_gal September 6, 2016 at 6:17 am

I agree with Admin that you donate because it helps someone – someone that you will never know. However, there’s also a saying “don’t let your mouth write checks that your butt can’t cash.” Pamela specifically stated on Facebook that she would be there at the center and holding people’s hands. While I wouldn’t take the “holding hands” part seriously, she has definitely set up an expectation for her behavior. Then she completely reneged on her publically made promise, and then tried to take credit for all the good karma (from her getting people to donate) was benefitting her life. Huge, huge social faux pas, IMHO.

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Mustard September 6, 2016 at 6:21 am

Perhaps you could think of your donation as a wonderful thing to do for a stranger, Pamela’s real-life friend, and take Pamela out of the equation altogether. Pamela is not your friend; you have never met her or even spoken to her, so her role in this is much like a journalist writing an article about how such donations are vital and focusing on one particular person in need. Move on, and remember that you have possibly helped save a life – no mean achievement!

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Dominic September 6, 2016 at 6:41 am

Another “someone hurt my feelings on Facebook” story—ugh! I find it ironic that a system referred to as “social” media is the place for so much antisocial behavior, and that messages on there can be referred to as “personal.”

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Ulla September 7, 2016 at 3:28 am

How else you would describe message sent from one person to other, without anybody else being in the loop? It’s no different from email, letter, text message or even phone call. One on one message. The way this message was delivered does not make it any more or less personal, or if it would, then on the same way we could not write personal letters, or personal notes in your kid’s lunch bag, or basically anything.

Nothing in this story is actually Facebook specific. It could easily have been appeal made in somebody’s church, study or hobby group. Where the person promises to be there for the people who donate. And when you reply that you are going to donate, by means of letter, text message or any other mean, you will get no response because the person who reached out is too busy to read through her letters/text messages/check for answering machine.

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Dominic September 7, 2016 at 6:50 am

The entire exchange, or lack thereof, took place on Facebook, so I consider it very specific to that site. OP states that she has never met the person or even spoken with her on the phone, so there is no real relationship, let alone a friendship. Under other circumstances where the request might have been made via a church or group, it is among people who actually have met at one time or another and may meet again, or do in fact meet regularly. There would be no one to contact and no contact information (to write, message, or call) but for having met at church or in the social group.

Social means actually interacting with people, and I agree that it is possible to do so without ever meeting in person, but it means interacting. Not making a request into the ether to people you don’t really care about or have any real relationship with and ignoring them thereafter. And those who answer the call, volunteer to help, and get upset when they are ignored shouldn’t be surprised. Facebook is the facilitator for exactly this kind of bad behavior (on the part of the requestor). The OP is asking, “How could she ignore me and not thank me. She’s my friend?” when she should be asking, “Where can I find some real friends?”

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Ulla September 7, 2016 at 2:50 pm

Facebook is just the medium used to deliver messages. It’s no different from any other medias used. It does not force us to be rude or uncaring. Claiming that it is doing that is just letting rude people off the hook. I’m agreeing that Pamela was not being social, but I disagree it was because of Facebook. I say it was because she was rude. Facebook would have allowed her to fully interact and be social, and polite person, answer to the personal messages she got, even if they were not friends but only colleagues. But she chose not to do that. Facebook is what we choose it to be. If we excuse the actions of rude people because it’s Facebook, that is what the Facebook (or any other medium) will be.

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Ulla September 7, 2016 at 2:59 pm

I try to open up my original example bit more, let’s use the church, because we both talked about it. Let us say, you ask the priest to do an announcement to the congregation that person A has a cancer, and member B here wishes that everyone capable would extend their hand and donate. And that B will be happy to meet the donating person and come “hold their hand” if they wish. So, person C calls or messages person B that s/he is going to donate and would love to meet there, if that is good time for person B. B never answers or acknowledges the message received, does not meet person C and does not in anyway bring up in the church how plenty of the members went and helped her/his friend. I’d still say that is perfectly plausible and basically same thing, but has nothing to do with Facebook.

Dominic September 8, 2016 at 6:50 am

I would consider Facebook a platform, rather than a medium; messaging, etc., on Facebook is the medium. Facebook purports to be a social arena, but does not required the level of personal interaction for actual social intercourse. It may and it can support social behavior, and it does not excuse rude behavior, but it is the perfect lab setting for superficiality.

In the church example, I don’t think it is plausible that C would perhaps see B at church again and just let it slide, or that B would have the nerve, in person–at church, and that is the important point here–to pointedly snub C among any others who participated in helping A. That would lead to social ostracism, which doesn’t happen where there is not a social group exerting pressure on the society. There may be a collection of people on Facebook, but they aren’t necessarily party to the interactions of others as they would be in person. That, in part, is how behavior in society is moderated or corrected, evidenced in that people will behave differently in person versus online.

On Facebook now, unless OP had made a series of posts or otherwise informed her “friends” on that site who also know of the situation, how are they to know she’s been snubbed? And that would just look bitter and needy, which is what comes across in the original post. “I did this for my Facebook friend and never got a thank-you!”

In the church example, the greater group (and the priest, a seeming authority figure and moral guide) would know of the situation, and the pressures society exerts would correct it, or lead, again, to ostracism of B.

Ashley September 6, 2016 at 7:18 am

I agree with Admin that doing something good for good’s sake is always a nice thing to do, without necessarily expecting anything in return. However, LW didn’t state that she wanted acknowledgement from the cancer patient, she wanted acknowledgement from Pamela, which I don’t think was so out of line! Pamela called out for friends to help on a public forum. If you ask someone to do something, even if it’s for someone else, if that person then writes to you and says that they did that thing, why on earth would you not express your gratitude? If you are on facebook all the time posting things about your own life, there’s no way you wouldn’t see a message someone sent you. Typing out “thanks :)” takes less than a second, heck, hitting “like” takes even a fraction of a second. Pamela just comes across as totally ungrateful here. The hospital couldn’t give out LW’s name, sure, but Pamela wasn’t completely unaware that the LW did this. LW is not being selfish at all.

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Vermin8 September 6, 2016 at 7:20 am

I think this may be a social media thing.
I do Facebook and I’ve noticed that many people have so many friends they can’t keep up with them. I have about 200 (and that’s a relatively low number) and I can’t follow all of them. Some people have so many (eg, in the higher hundreds or thousands) that they can’t even keep up with what these people post on their page or with IMs (many of the latter are group IMs like “hey ladies post…blah blah blah”). So these people use FB only as a mouthpiece and don’t even try to keep up with responses. It sounds like your friend is one of those.
Since I can’t keep up with all of my 200 friends, when I noticed that someone is in that mode, I usually unfollow them. Chances are they post enough so that even their one feed is time consuming for me and if I need to get up with them I’ll send them a personal text on their phone and bypass FB completely.
I would let it go and just remember in the future that her FB page is for her to make announcements, not to receive communications from friends.
I do, however, think it’s an etiquette faux pas for these people to make announcements on their page then be surprised that it wasn’t seen by key people. I have close relatives (ie immediate family or married to immediate family) who are Power Posters – I quit following their pages because I didn’t have the time. Now every so often, someone will mention something and say “I’m sure you saw this on FB.” I’m quick to correct “no, I did not – please don’t use FB for important announcements because I miss more than I see.”
So while I don’t think not keeping up with FB responses by itself is a major etiquette violation (minor, maybe), I do think making announcements and assuming those whom you think should see it, IS a major etiquette violation.

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Amanda H. September 6, 2016 at 10:50 pm

One more reason I keep my FB friend list to a small group of people: immediate family (both mine and my husband’s, but only parents, siblings, and in-laws), my small group of friends from college, and a few others who meet my narrow criteria for adding (such as a very good high school friend with whom I reconnected a few years ago). I refuse extended family and church member friend requests with my apologies. Keeping my list to such a small number makes it much easier for me to keep up with people on Facebook, especially since I usually only visit once a week, if that. Luckily my family knows that if they’re going to post something important and need me to see it, they either copy it to an e-mail to send me, or tag me in the post.

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stacey September 6, 2016 at 7:41 am

Your Facebook friend is someone who promises far more than she can deliver. I think wha is irksome is the integrity gap- her actions don’t align with her words and she excuses herself instead of owning up to her fib. Notwithstanding, you will indeed be happier if you move on.

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Lerah99 September 6, 2016 at 3:48 pm

^^^^ This!

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AthenaC September 6, 2016 at 7:42 am

OP, I agree with the Admin that your best option is just to forget about it. Do your best to see your time and effort as a gift freely given with no expectation of reciprocation.

That said, I do understand your irritation – Pamela was very public about asking for help, and you responded to her request. If she decided to go that route, she really ought to be prepared to respond to people. Even if it’s a blanket “Thank you to everyone who helped / donated this week!” message. I don’t buy this “I don’t have time stuff” – Facebook has a notification system (shocking, I know!) that makes it easy to go down the list of new messages, and copy + paste “Thank you so much! We appreciate it!” Does it take time? Sure. But that’s what you set yourself up for when you make public requests like Pamela did.

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NostalgicGal September 6, 2016 at 7:43 am

Move on.

As far as giving blood or platelets, unless you have a very rare type, you will not be acknowledged. You give because you give. It was very noble of you to give, but. About 4% is your friend, who possibly should have scanned after a plea like that and said something. But mostly, you gave because you wanted to give.

I have a friend who was an RH factor baby, she was her mother’s second child with bearing the opposite of her mother, and she was born about 3 years before the ‘man with a golden arm’ was found. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Harrison_(blood_donor) ) She shares her blood type with a few thousand others in the world. (it was a miracle she survived to birth). She donates to bank her own blood, she has 30 freeze dried pints and was called once to donate fresh. My friend ranks where they acknowledge if she donates. Most people in the world are not in those ranks.

Just be glad that you could help someone.

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hjaye September 6, 2016 at 7:54 am

I can understand the OP’s feelings. the original post said that she (Pamela) would be glad to come by and hold your hand if need be to get someone to donate. That to me implies that she is actively looking at all the responses that she gets. The OP responded and never heard back one word, and then later Pamela’s response is that she is much too busy to read every message let alone reply to them.

I think Pamela would have been better off stating up front that she was very busy and may not be able to respond to every message, but thank all those who could help.

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Startruck September 6, 2016 at 7:56 am

Your are right when you say a thank you goes a long way. No doubt about that. However, when you do something like this, in this case literally savings someone’s life , you don’t do it for a thank you. It’s a wonderful thing you did op. Take pleasure in that and forget about the thank you.

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CaffeineKatie September 6, 2016 at 8:16 am

My cynical self wonders if she even has a friend there–some people like to shirt-tail in on tragedies for the attention. Just be glad you did a good thing for whoever got your donation and let it go.

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Cleosia September 6, 2016 at 8:18 am

The OP will be happier if she just moves on but I think since Pamela stated that she would be willing to come down and hold the hand of whoever was willing to donate, it was understood that she would actually be verifying who was going to donate so she could go down and hold their hand.

Apparently it was a BS offer because Pamela really couldn’t be bothered to check that anyone donated.

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LadyV September 6, 2016 at 8:29 am

While I agree that it would be best for the OP to move on and put this behind her – I’m a little bit aggravated by Pamela using the “I’m too busy to read messages” excuse. If you’re asking people to do a favor for someone they don’t even know – a favor that takes several hours out of THEIR busy days – the least you can do is acknowledge their generosity. I’m sure Pamela had the time to post a message to the effect of “Although I am unable to thank people individually, I would like to express my gratitude to everyone that donated platelets for Friend” – especially since she seems to have had time to post her normal, fairly meaningless things on Facebook.

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ErinAnn September 6, 2016 at 8:42 am

You were hoping for a friendly connection after you did an act of service and your gesture was ignored. My feelings would be tender too. Just keep things professional and forget it ever happened. And perhaps hide her from your Newsfeed.

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clairedelune September 6, 2016 at 9:07 am

Pamela is too busy to read an email but she doesn’t think other people should be too busy to spend two hours donating platelets?

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Caitlyn September 6, 2016 at 9:30 am

I can see where admin is coming from, but again social media has added a layer of complexity. When a plea for help is made over social media, it is expected for the asking party to have some kind of follow-up for those who contributed. She may not have had time to go back to every message, but she certainly should have done a general follow-up status stating that her friend is doing better, thanks to all who helped, or if the friend has not improved, to simply say that the donations were much appreciated.

The difference is contributing blood in general has no specific “cause” or destination, vs. this case or those “go fund me” type fundraisers for health care costs, rebuilding burnt homes, etc having an expected resolution. I don’t think that OP should have expected a personal “thank you,” but I think a general follow-up to the plea is expected and polite.

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Michelle September 6, 2016 at 10:06 am

Just accept that you did something good and move on. Pamela and/or her friend will never thank you. Many people use Facebook to ask for favors and many of them do not acknowledge that you did them a favor. I think some Facebook users don’t even know all their “friends”, so don’t take it personally.

I do wonder, however, had you requested “Pamela” hold your hand, would she have shown up?
(I say probably not).

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robin September 6, 2016 at 10:06 am

I do think Pamela was a bit rude…but yes, it’s time to move on.

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abby September 6, 2016 at 10:58 am

“Am I being selfish in thinking that she should have at least followed up on her own Facebook page to see who answered her appeal and gave their blood cells at her request? “Thank you” goes a long way when someone does you a favor”

Well, if Pamela had just made a general PSA about the importance of donating blood and had inspired you to donate, then I don’t think she’s really obligated to acknowledge this or thank you for your donation. However, her post *did* say she would be happy to sit with anyone donating, which I think does increase her obligation. And if she truly was so inundated with messages of people listing their donation times that she couldn’t respond individually, I do think a follow up post thanking everyone generically would have been appropriate. I mean, she did not encourage people to donate in general, she encouraged people to donate to benefit a friend of hers, which I think does make it more personal.

However, to be honest OP, it seems like you made the donation for the purpose of being acknowledged by Pamela. It appears that Pamela’s offer to hold the donor’s hand was mostly an empty offer as she did not expect to be taken up on it. I would feel satisfied that you did a good thing and helped someone out, and not look to Pamela for any more validation.

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Rose Lloyd September 6, 2016 at 11:22 am

I feel you. Several years ago I answered the call to donate blood for a friend’s husband who was undergoing surgery. He made a full recovery. Three years later I found myself undergoing cancer surgery and put the call out to ask for donations. Guess who flat out refused to donate?

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Ashley September 6, 2016 at 11:35 am

I can understand finally wanting to meet Pamela in person, but the entire rest of the story is coming across as “HEY I DID THIS THING ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I DID THE THING PLEASE LOOK AT ME I DID THE THING!”

And I honestly can believe she didn’t see every post.

Facebook does this dumb thing where it doesn’t show you every post, even if you’re following someone. Next time you’re looking at your profile, look at the friends list section. Don’t actually click to look at all your friends, the 9 boxes that show up will do. See that little blue dot? That means they made a post that Facebook decided you didn’t really need to see, you have to actually go look at their profile to see it.

And then there’s the thing Facebook is doing where it randomly hides comments. I’ve left comments on friends posts then get a reply from them saying “Why is this coming up as hidden?” I don’t have a clue! Then their comments are coming up as hidden to me, and if I scroll too fast, well guess what, I’m missing them.

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Dee September 6, 2016 at 12:29 pm

You’ve worked with Pamela on projects before, communicating remotely; was that on Facebook? If not, then why would you communicate with her afterwards, on something so important, via something that is so casual? A site seemingly dedicated to photos of dogs and restaurant meals? If you really want to reach a person you should contact them via personal means – in person, a phone call, a letter, or email. If none of these results in a reply then I think you can write off your relationship. I can’t imagine using something like Facebook to communicate seriously.

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Archie September 6, 2016 at 12:38 pm

While I agree about the confidentiality – OP does say she reached out to the poster and let her know directly. Unless the poster got literally a few 1000 responses (which actually would be such an awesome problem to have!), notifications on FB tell you exactly who’s responded to what posts of yours. So given how quickly the OP let her poster friend know – and how many other posts she seemed to find time for – this is just laziness.

Reading the last paragraph quite carefully, OP was not expecting the actual victim to respond. It’s quite understandable that her exact donation may or may not have actually made it to that victim. But for Pamela to post, get a response and then ignore those folks who came forward to help her, just smacks of bad manners.

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PJ September 6, 2016 at 1:24 pm

I do agree that you will be happier if you move on. *but* I understand your disappointment.

Pamela reached out to you and others who responded to this request for a favor that was very meaningful to her. Sure, the greater favor was to her friend, but it also was a favor to Pamela. In addition to that, you were taking a step toward a deeper relationship in responding to her call for help when you’ve never even met face to face. Her response was to do nothing. Later she boasted about herself doing good works, and said she was too busy to even *look at* the responses to her request for this favour! So you probably not only feel the sting of not being thanked, but also see that your attempt to create a stronger relationship was rejected.

You gave blood because it is a good thing to do. You want a “thank you” or just some acknowledgement from Pamela because that’s just what happens when you reach out and do a favour for someone. (I mean, how hard would it have been, after you made your facebook comment, for her to say “thank you to everyone who helped out my friend– we truly appreciate your kindness!” instead of “I’m too busy…” really? It would have taken her the same 30 seconds!) You started having petty thoughts about the whole situation because you’re human.

I really think the best thing to do here is to let it go, and take this as a lesson on Pamela’s personality and relationships.

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Sara September 6, 2016 at 1:46 pm

I’ve been in your spot. There is a large backstory to mine but basically I don’t have children and likely won’t in the future. There is an organization in village that assists women who are choosing adoption instead of abortion. This organization assists all sort of single parent families by helping them to furnish a home or pay for groceries.

I not have funds to donate financially but when the organization advertised that it needed home goods I decided I had a good amount of kitchenware to spare. So I did. I even went the extra mile to make the donation more special with some added in newly purchased items to go with my gently used items.

When I reached out to the organization the woman heading it up was very breezy. “oh you have stuff? Great! Can you drop it off at this time.” The morning I did the delivery I texted the woman and she said, “oops I forgot about you. We’re at the zoo today. Can you just leave it on my porch?”

I was disappointed because I wanted to meet this woman who was doing so much good. But I didn’t fault her for forgetting or having “better” plans that day. So I made the drive and put them on the porch.

I never heard from her again. Like you I started to get annoyed. I felt a little resentful that no “thanks” was given for my donation. So I messaged the woman and asked if she found everything I have donated and made sure it was all intact and useable. Her breezy reply was, “Sure did. Thanks.”

I don’t know. It just sort of rubbed me the wrong way. One one hand my donation wasn’t really huge so I didn’t need, deserve or expect a huge “thank you” with all sorts of fanfare. However my donations were nice and like new condition. I would think anyone starting over would have been thrilled to have nice things in their kitchen. Plus, I liked the idea that I was helping a new mother, especially since I’m not one. My modest contribution was given with special intentions to that organization and I guess I would have liked to have felt that my things were welcomed and appreciated.

Like you I wondered if my hurt feelings and attitude was due to the fact that I wasn’t giving with my heart but giving for the wrong reasons. Donating what I had wasn’t a hardship and even purchasing those extras wasn’t a problem at all. I enjoyed doing it all. I guess I just wanted to feel like I was making a difference. The person I gave my donation to wasn’t interested in meeting me or really saying thank you.

What you did for a “friend of a FB friend” was very generous. Very. And you donated specifically for that person. You certainly deserved a special, “thank you” and I think it’s okay to feel disappointed in how you were treated.

For myself I had to realize that the organization I donated to is run (quite passionately) by a lone woman and her family. She gives great amount of love, time and resources to those in need. I have no doubt that she is exhausted at the end of each day. Perhaps she didn’t realize that those donating might also be looking for something. I decided to get over it and give future donations to places that I felt good about.

For the OP – You gave because you wanted to make a difference for a specific person. You wanted to help your FB friend by giving to someone important to her. You also wanted to help the person in need. Your contribution was essentially a gift to both parties. They did not properly acknowledge or thank you for your gift and that is what doesn’t feel right. You have every right to feel the way you do. But it’s also a lesson learned. Either give with zero intentions of return or be very mindful of where you give next.

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livvy17 September 6, 2016 at 1:58 pm

While I agree that the OP should move on, and be proud of her good work as a general rule, I don’t think that lets “Pamela” off the hook. If Pamela had posted something more general, and hadn’t sworn to “hold the hand” of the people she was asking to donate, I’d totally agree with Admin. However, OP sent a personal message to Pamela, letting her know she was responding to the call, and expressing a desire to meet Pamela in person, if possible. I think the LEAST Pamela could have done would be to say, “I’m so sorry, but I won’t be near the donation center at that time, Thank you so much for your support, [Friend] and I really appreciate your help!!” If you ask for favors, even on behalf of others, you should follow up.

I too have given several gallons over the years, of my own accord, without a designated recipient, expecting no thanks. If someone asked me to come in to a particular drive, to help a particular person (or a group doing the drive), the I would expect a call, email, IM or a note to say thanks – ANY format would be ok. In this case, the rudeness is compounded by Pamela ignoring at least two personal communications from the OP.

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Becca September 6, 2016 at 2:57 pm

I agree that the LW should move on however, I also understand exactly why you feel the way you do. The woman used her networking for good use then dropped the ball acknowledging you accepted her request to help this specific person. She lied. She stated she’d stay with a person who donated and hold their hand through the process, only to then mysteriously forget how to answer her messages.

There is no excuse for just ignoring messages because you get so many. You skim them, you see ones that are simply no-response needed and archive them. Then you see the ones that are saying “I made an appointment, I’d like you to come see me during the process.” and you follow through because that’s what you offered to do.

Now if she said “Please donate for this cause!” without any of the other “I’ll hold your hand”, ignoring your “I did it.” would make complete sense and not be callous. She should have just responded to your original message with “Drats I cannot make it by that day after all, thank you so much for your kindness.” She’s trying to be kind and dropping the ball half way through with her empty promises to the people who respond to her pleas for help. That’s a way to make sure someone like the OP doesn’t ever put that effort forward again.

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Longtime Fan September 6, 2016 at 3:02 pm

Some of you are being really unduly harsh on the OP. She sent Pamela DIRECT MESSAGES, which were ignored. It is rude to ignore messages.

And why does it really matter why the OP wanted to donate platelets? If we had to have a perfect, pure heart motivating everything we ever did, no one would ever do anything. She wanted to meet a coworker! She wanted her effort acknowledged by Pamela, who asked! These are not major crimes or even minor ones. And it doesn’t sound at all that she expected anything from the sick person.

Those of you condemning the OP for daring to expect anything from anyone on Facebook are just being snotty.

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Princess Buttercup September 6, 2016 at 4:06 pm

I see two parts here:

On the one hand, you did something nice for someone that didn’t take too much more from you than your time. So you should be happy with your personal knowledge of a job well done, a good deed accomplished, etc and go on your way.

On the other hand, you responded directly to her post. That means she got a notification about your comment. You also directly messaged her. She either looked at these and couldn’t be bothered to be a person of integrity. Or she ignored all of these which means she doesn’t value you anymore than for the fact that you are one of her adoring fans (how some see every friend or follower on social media.

As such I would take this as a lesson about her character and realize she is not a person of much worth. Be happy that you helped someone in need. Limit contact with people like her that lack integrity and move on, don’t dwell.

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ketchup September 6, 2016 at 4:09 pm

As someone who has been given life saving blood, I’d like to thank all donors. Thank you.

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Kay_L September 6, 2016 at 6:23 pm

This reads to me as if the LW has a thing for Pamela in some way. And that the donation was not done for reasons of altruism but for attention, from Pamela, from Facebook, whichever. It’s obvious to me as a Facebook user that Pamela is lying when she says she “had no idea.” One is notified when there are comments on one’s post.

I do think it was rude for her to ignore someone’s response to her plea.

The LW should acknowledge to themselves that they wanted something more than someone else was willing to give and move on.

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Cat September 6, 2016 at 6:25 pm

A co-worker at school asked me for a pint of my blood for her gall bladder operation. I have given blood many times, but that was the first time anyone had ever directly asked me. You can’t get a more personal gift than that.
You responded to a request that Pamela made and she did not bother to read your message even though she had said she was willing to stay with those who donated. She gave her word and she failed to keep it. A person is only as good as his/her word and Pamela lied.
I think you had the right to be annoyed with Pamela. A lady should not make promises she does not intend to keep.

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Otter September 6, 2016 at 8:38 pm

Facebook notifies users of messages to them, especially personal ones . Pamela didn’t need to scroll to see your message, it would be in her inbox. I suspect she wanted positive attention for spreading the word about her stricken friend and supposedly spending night and day by her side. But she didn’t want to go to the effort of acknowledging anyone else’s contribution. You learned a lesson about her. It would be healthy to move on and consider it an anonymous good deed.

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Amanda H. September 6, 2016 at 10:44 pm

OP, I don’t think you did this for the wrong reasons. After all, it sounds like you don’t regret donating in the first place. Pamela reneged on her end of the bargain made in her Facebook post, and as selfless as anyone tries to be, it still hurts when a promise is broken. Even if it’s something as simple as having someone you know show up to hold your hand while you donate, or thank you for answering a call for help they made.

Accept that Pamela will probably never realize what she’s done, and continue to make donations as you see fit for the sake of helping others.

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Semperviren September 6, 2016 at 11:00 pm

Pamela sounds like a tragedy troll. Who knows how well she even knows this person- this has a feel of “look what a good person I am, soliciting help for my friend”.

The good news is 1) you genuinely helped a truly sick person who needed it and 2) you learned something valuable about who Pamela is.

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Libby September 7, 2016 at 4:24 am

Donating platelets takes much more time and effort than donating blood. From the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center website:

“It is now easier, and in many cases faster, to donate platelets. Only one of your arms is used to withdraw blood, separate out the platelets, and return the rest of the blood to you. Your other arm is free to turn pages in a book, click on a laptop keyboard, or scratch an itch during the 70 to 90 minute donation procedure.

This is in addition to the time it takes you to complete your registration form and have your medical history taken and reviewed. Plan to spend about 2 1/2 hours in the Blood Donor Room when you are donating platelets.”

For this kind of investment of time, effort, and literally, blood, I think a thank you from the Facebook “friend” and her friend who received the platelets is required. That you didn’t get one is unfortunate. If nothing else, karma will reward you someday. Time to unfriend her and move on.

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Ant September 7, 2016 at 4:38 am

To be honest OP, it seems like you made the donation for acknowledgement which is a bit selfish. But Pamela is worse. She originally said she was willing/able to stay with those who donated yet has no time to read/send simple messages… it smells. To me she’s using her friends situation to make herself look good/ get attention and your comment to her is only playing into this need for attention.
A few months ago I witnessed a similar attention seeker (call her Y) online who posted “So sad to hear about X, battling for his life in hospital. Everybody better be praying for him.” In pours messages of sympathy from her friends until X’s sister (who Y is friends with) steps in. Pointing out that Y and X barely know each other. The emergency appendectomy was several days ago and her brother was up and recovering well, not battling for his life “as you were told this morning Y!!!”. And finally she was told about the operation in confidence and shouldn’t be plastering it online. I’d post the exact words but she has since deleted the post. I am still bewildered as to what Y gets out of all this type of thing but this is not the only example of her attention seeking antics (I’ll admit I keep her as a friend just to watch these moments drama but don’t interact /engage with it).

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Devin September 7, 2016 at 11:19 am

The ‘I’m too busy to answer messages’ excuse is so worn out. Everyone is busy these days and most people in the business world spead hours on email and other media platforms. I highly doubt that so many of her Facebook ‘friends’ took the time to donate at her local hospital for her friend that she didn’t have the 30 seconds to send back a thank you for your time/donation.
I’ve donated blood in situations similar to these, in some cases the blood doesnt go to the person in need but it helps off set the cost of the transfusion. In both cases the family asked if I needed someone to come with me and followed up with sincere thank yous. In one case over 100 people showed up to donate and everyone recieved a short thank you note from one member of the family. The donation center was like a mini college reunion with so many friends all showing up.
You’ve discovered this person is not your friend. I’d unfollow her on social media and only interact when business requires it.

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