I had to have two units of blood when I was in the hospital this summer. I felt SO much better the next day- like a whole new person. It was a little scary at the time, because they took it so super seriously. Two nurses checked and double checked each other, they had me check and spell my name- I'd been in for over a week at that point, and they'd been pumping stuff into me left and right, but nothing else was done this carefully. Even my surgery seemed more casual than the transfusion. It didn't feel any different than any of my other IVs, though.
My mom came down from Boston to be with me, and she offered to donate the blood for my transfusion, but it would have taken time to type her and do all the testing, and they didn't want to wait that long, so they used the blood bank. If that's something you're concerned about, you could talk to your doctor about using a family donation instead of a stranger's.
I had a transfusion this summer. I was scared that they would use the wrong type or something, but they are EXTREMELY careful about checking all information. I even checked it myself as well. The worst part is just laying there for 3-4 hours, and if they do it late at night (like mine) then you can't really sleep, b/c they check your blood pressure every hour. Afterwards, they take a little blood for a CBC. It helped me.
They are having a blood drive where I work today, so that is always good to see..others helping those who need it.