Donate life-saving blood at local churches

Blood plays an important role in Christianity. The Gospels report that when Jesus of Nazareth shared the Last Supper with his disciples he took a cup of wine, and after giving thanks, he gave it to them all to drink from saying, “This is my blood of the New Covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Almost all Christian communities celebrate the ritual of Holy Communion following the commandment he gave, using wine or grape juice to represent blood.
Of course, blood is essential to the human body. So far blood cannot be manufactured, and because blood products are perishable, the supply must constantly be replenished. Year round, hospitals are filled with cancer and surgery patients, premature babies, accident victims and other sick and injured people who need transfusions to stay alive.
Typically, July is a month of critical need for our blood supply because fewer people are available to donate due to schools being closed and many donors are gone on vacation.
Recognizing this situation, in 2011 the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland and the Oakland Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints collaborated with the American Red Cross to tackle this problem. They collected more than 1,700 units of blood, making it the most successful faith-based blood drive in the history of the Red Cross.
This year an even larger effort is being launched: The second annual Interfaith Community Blood Drive, which will include more than 80 individual blood drives in July, is the largest single blood drive in the history of the Northern California Blood Services Region; it is also believed to be the largest church-organized blood drive in the history of the American Red Cross.
Sponsored by 12 different faith groups, including the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Jose, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Islamic Community in the South Bay, residents living between Ukiah and Monterey are invited to contribute the “gift of life” during July. The goal is to collect 7,000 to 7,500 units. (A single pint of blood can save as many as three lives.)
Donors must meet these criteria:
– Be at least 17 years old (16 with parental permission)
– Weigh at least 110 pounds
– Be in general good health
– Have photo identification
– Have not donated in the previous eight weeks.
The following churches in the South Valley area are scheduled to participate: Gilroy First Baptist Church, Morgan Hill Presbyterian Church, Advent Lutheran Church, St. Catherine of Alexandria Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hollister, Morgan Hill and Gilroy. To find a location and make an appointment, call (800) 733-2767 or visit and enter “Interfaithcommunity” as the sponsor code.

Leave your comments