I’ve been the American Red Cross blood drive coordinator at St. Luke’s for about 12 years now. My first donation was during college. I knew nothing about it at the time. That first experience wasn’t great – because of a mechanical issue, the first attempt almost didn’t happen! “Well, we tried, thanks for coming,” the staffer said. Not enjoying failure, I asked if she couldn’t try the other arm. Success! Little did I know the impact that first donation would have on my life.
When I joined St. Luke’s in 2009, I didn’t know many of my fellow parishioners. What better way to meet people, I reasoned, than to “throw a party” and save lives in the process? In the beginning, I was doing drives on my own. Now we have a blood drive committee and a wonderful core of regular donors, volunteers and other helpers. I really enjoy it when non-members come in to donate, especially when they ask to see the sanctuary or when services are held. Indeed, this is a ministry that helps me connect, grow and serve.
How can folks learn more if they want to help? A great first step would be to visit one of our blood drive parties. Talk to the volunteers. Visit with the donors. Ask them: Why are you here? What’s your story? You may be inspired by the answers.