Word Tabernacle Church congregants will be coordinating donations Sunday that will not go in the typical collection plate.
The American Red Cross will be visiting the church for the first of two blood donation drives.
Faye Duffin, the church’s Medical Emergency Response Team ministry leader, said hosting a blood drive coincides with Word Tabernacle Church’s core values of helping others within the community to thrive. Church volunteers will help run the drive and many members of the church plan to donate blood.
“We know blood donations decline between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day,” Duffin said. “Medical needs and emergencies don’t stop for the holidays. This blood drive is an opportunity for friends, family, neighbors and colleagues to help save a life. In just an hour’s time, one donor can help save up to three lives with a blood donation.”
Duffin said she has seen firsthand how the American Red Cross saves lives. She said chances are, everyone knows someone who has had a blood transfusion.
“As a health-care professional, I am aware of both professional and personal examples where the American Red Cross has helped others. My aunt, who was diagnosed with cancer, received several units of blood during her operation,” she said. “Patients receiving treatment for cancer or blood disorders, those undergoing transplant surgery, mothers suffering from birthing complications and premature babies are all examples of patients who need blood.”
Mace Robinson, executive director of the Northeastern North Carolina chapter of the American Red Cross, said while donations go down during the next month, the need only increases. The Red Cross estimates more than 1 million units of blood and platelets will be transfused to patients in the United States between Thanksgiving and the New Year’s holiday.
Robinson said when churches give, they give big. “Houses of worship such as Word Tabernacle are a tremendous help, especially during this time of the year. Their willingness to open their doors and support the Red Cross in this life-saving mission is so important,” Robinson said.
Robinson said he is grateful that Word Tabernacle and other churches in the area always are willing “to step up to the plate” in the Rocky Mount community.
“Whether it’s a blood drive or assisting in shelters during a disaster, houses of worship like Word Tabernacle Church are a major help in assisting the Red Cross’ response,” Robinson said.
He noted almost all the scheduled blood drives in the coming weeks in the area are slated to be at churches.
The Word Tabernacle blood drive is open to the public from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 15 in the gymnasium at the church at 821 Word Plaza, Rocky Mount.
About 80 percent of blood donations are made at blood drives organized by volunteer sponsor groups and coordinators, like Word Tabernacle Church. Robinson said donors with A positive, B positive and AB blood especially are needed to give platelets.
Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood.
Other churches scheduled for local blood drives in the coming weeks include Englewood Presbyterian on Dec. 12 and 13, Sunset Avenue Baptist Church on Dec. 18, First Baptist Church and Sandy Cross United Methodist Church on Dec. 23, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Dec. 27 and Parkwood Baptist Church on Jan. 2.
For more information about these drives and others, go to www.redcross.org.