In the eyes of Kiwis, you don't have to be superman or conquer a world-first achievement to be a hero. Saving lives by donating blood will do just as well.
While respondents to the New Zealand Blood Service's True Heroes Survey put the 'Caped Crusader' top of this list of 'greatest fictional superheroes', doing something to benefit others was voted the most defining trait of real-life heroes. This ranked well above courageous acts, distinctive abilities, or special achievements.
The Blood Service has released the findings ahead of World Blood Donor Day, celebrated tomorrow Thursday 14 June, to thank donors and encourage more people to register.
"Kiwis have confirmed that the real test of a hero comes down to selflessness and simple gestures, like donating blood for example," explains Paul Hayes, Marketing and Communications Manager for the New Zealand Blood Service.
Three-quarters of the 1300-plus respondents said donating blood was a truly heroic act.
This was further supported by 85% saying that 'lending a hand' through volunteering of any sort was the best thing a person could do to help others.
"We've long considered blood donors life-saving heroes, but it's great to see the rest of New Zealand is backing us up."
Kiwis are also most likely to see a family member as their hero (43%), with emergency service and social workers (16%), friends (13%), and historical figures (12%) rounding out the top spots. Celebrities and sportspeople placed last with just 3% of the vote each.
"However, the results also show we need to do much more to recognise the heroes in our life, whether they are family, friends, or blood donors."
Despite more than three-quarters of respondents saying they had a hero:
80% of Kiwis don't think they are a hero to anyone else
Four out of five said their personal hero was unaware of the special status put upon them Blood donors were significantly less likely than non-donors to see their contributions as heroic
Cantabrians bucked the trend though, likely a consequence of the region's recent struggles. Over a quarter said they were a hero to others and that their hero knew how they felt about them.
Become a hero today. Please register to donate, or make an appointment, at www.nzblood.co.nz or on 0800 GIVE BLOOD.
Results summary: 1,354 people responded to the New Zealand Blood Service True Heroes Survey online, representing all ages and regions of New Zealand
75% of respondents thought donating blood was heroic, although regular donors were much less likely (66%) to think this
7 out of 10 respondents thought a person who has done something benefitting others was a hero, versus someone admired for leadership or courage, having special abilities or a standout achievement
Volunteering was preferred as the best way to help others (85%), over giving advice/mentoring (12%), giving money (2%), or giving goods/services (1%)
Kiwis' heroes were likely to be family (43%), emergency service or social workers (16%), friends (13%), historical figures (12%), or high-achievers in their field of expertise (7%)
Celebrities and sportspeople got just 3% of the 'hero vote' each
80% of Kiwis don't think they are a hero
Only 20% think their hero knows they are regarded as such
Superman (25%), Batman (24%) and Wonder Woman (6%) were the most recognised superheroes, though with some noting their special powers didn't hold a candle to real-life heroes
About the New Zealand Blood Service:
The New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) in a not-for-profit Crown entity responsible for the collection, processing, testing and storage and distribution of all blood and blood products in New Zealand.
We rely on voluntary and non-remunerated blood donations from individuals around the country in order to provide a constant supply of precious blood and blood products used by our health services to save thousands of lives.
The need for donors is constant - we must collect around 3,000 donations every week nationally and are always working to maintain and grow our register of donors to make this possible. In New Zealand, around 42,000 people need donated blood every year.
There is no alternative for patients in need of blood or blood products - blood donors saves lives.
Less than 4% of eligible New Zealanders currently donate blood, around 90,000.
World Blood Donor Day, celebrated in New Zealand and internationally on Thursday 14 June, is our most important annual campaign to remind New Zealanders of the importance of donating blood and encourage more people to donate more regularly.
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