From the American Red Cross:
Faith groups throughout the Bay Area are once again teaming with the American Red Cross to help maintain the community’s blood supply during the summer months.
The second annual Interfaith Community Blood Drive, which comprises 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 also is believed to be the largest church-organized blood drive in the history of the national Red Cross organization.
Sponsored by 12 different faith-based groups, the Interfaith Community Blood Drive will be held at church buildings and Red Cross facilities throughout the greater-Bay Area – reaching as far north as Ukiah and as far south as Salinas and Monterey. There will be blood drives every day during the month of July, except Sundays.
The month-long drive has an ambitious goal to bring in more than double the 1,700 units of blood that were collected at last year’s event; and the Northern California Blood Services Region is allocating all of its resources for the entire month to this one drive.
“July is traditionally a difficult month to collect blood because schools are out and many people are on vacation,” said Jeff Meyer, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross Northern California Blood Services Region. “The commitment made by these faith groups is to help collect nearly 100 percent of the blood we need in July, and we are excited they have readily taken on this need.”
Every day, regional hospitals are filled with cancer and surgery patients, premature babies, accident victims and other sick and injured people who need transfusions to live. Blood cannot be manufactured, it can only come from volunteer donors and because all blood and blood products are perishable, the supply must constantly be replenished.
According to the Red Cross, the number one reason donors say they give blood is because they “want to help others.” The Interfaith Community Blood Drive brings together a number of religious groups with a common goal – to help others.
“Service is the common thread of all religions, and it is truly inspirational to see people of different faiths sacrificing together for those in great need,” Elder Robert Packer of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said.
“Our goal is to be of service to the broader community by combining the efforts of the Catholic and interfaith communities,” said Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, of the Catholic Diocese of Oakland.
The first Interfaith Community Blood Drive will be held on Monday, July 2 from noon to 6 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, located at 4705 Virginia Avenue in Oakland. Representatives from the Red Cross and the Catholic and Mormon churches will be on-hand to greet and thank the first donors and speak with members of the media.
Individuals who are at least 17 years of age (16 with parental permission), meet height and weight requirements (at least 110 pounds based on height) and are in generally good physical health may be eligible to donate blood. Please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or go to redcrossblood.org(sponsor code: InterfaithCommunity) to schedule an appointment.
More information about the Interfaith Community Blood Drive can be found at redcrossblood.org.