(Susan Hunt) On a recent Monday afternoon, Ken and Brenda Smith of Montgomery First UMC each held out an arm to give a little of themselves. They, along with about 40 other people, were at the church to donate blood at a LifeSouth mobile blood drive bus.
During this time of a pandemic, Montgomery FUMC and several churches have chosen to hold blood drives as a way to be in ministry to their communities. This is an option any church can undertake. It is safe and makes a difference, especially in these days when the blood supply is critically low.
Brenda said, “I felt that during this pandemic would be a good time to give. I imagine that many people are not giving blood and I felt it was something I could do to help in some small way.” Several donors echoed Brenda’s response. Kate Wheaton, coordinator of the Montgomery FUMC drive, said, “People were so thrilled to be able to feel involved and that they could make a real difference.”
Auburn UMC has also regularly held blood drives. Joe Davis, Mission and Outreach Coordinator at AUMC, noted, “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all experienced how important the ‘little things’ are in our lives - the phone calls, letters, and just seeing the faces of those we love. Giving blood to support our local hospitals is another one of those ‘little things’ that we take for granted that can become a vital source of hope during the pandemic. Hosting a blood drive is a great way for churches to care for their communities and get behind their healthcare workers who have sacrificed so much for us.”
Rev. Lucas Tribble, associate minister at Montgomery First UMC, said, “There’s always a need for blood, but especially right now in the circumstances in the pandemic. Also, now we don’t have as many opportunities to serve so this is a way to make a difference when our normal day-to-day ministries are affected.”
LifeSouth takes all safety precautions for participants. Ken shared, “I felt they did a pretty good job of protecting donors. The act of giving blood necessitates close contact, but the staff made sure to wear masks and provide other safety measures that made me feel secure.” Sharon Litchfield, another donor at Montgomery FUMC’s drive, said, “They were careful, and I was perfectly comfortable.”
LifeSouth is a community blood center. All blood donated through LifeSouth stays in the community where it is donated, and they provide a free test for COVID antibodies on all donated blood. Contact Melinda Hinds, email@example.com (334-260-0803) to schedule a drive at your church.