On Sunday, December 11, 2011, the World Mission Society Church of God hosted its Winter 2011 Blood Drive in Ridgewood, NJ in partnership with Community Blood Services. The turnout of the drive came as no surprise to the Recruitment Director at Community Blood Services, Patrice Foresman, and to the returning staff who were involved with the Church of God’s previous drives. Among the 230 donating registrants, 180 units were collected. From this amazing drive, up to 540 lives could be saved.
Joseph McHale, a Community Blood Services volunteer, described the drive at the Church of God in Ridgewood as “huge” and “terrific.” Community Blood Services conventionally holds drives at high schools and corporations, normally obtaining around 100 or even just 50 units, respectively. McHale was shocked, impressed, and enthused by the magnificent turnout and the amount of new donors at the Church of God.
- Kamil, now a veteran worker at the Church of God blood drives, mentioned that he likes coming here, taking notice of the calm and organized atmosphere of the members and participants despite the hundreds of blood contributors that Community Blood Services personnel had to register. The blood donating process takes roughly an hour, including: completing the application, getting tested for capability to donate, then finally donating itself. Undeterred by the lengthy process, which increased due to the limited amount of donating beds, Camille, a Community Blood Services worker, commented that “some people get very frustrated, but [Church of God donors] were not complaining about the wait.”
So what motivates Church of God members to continuously participate in these blood drives? It is their burning desire to serve others and follow in the footsteps of Heavenly Father Christ Ahnsahnghong and Heavenly Mother New Jerusalem. As Kamal Monges, first time donor and member of the Church of God in Philadelphia, expressed, “Father and Mother did it…with a lot more pain and a lot more suffering. This is a very small sacrifice. It was a pleasure to do this for those in need.” Even first time visitors to the Church enjoyed the warm and welcoming atmosphere as well as the beautiful deed of saving lives. It was Karen Roman’s first time at the Church of God and although she donated in the past, she appreciated the members’ attentiveness in helping her through the process to make her more comfortable and more at ease. When asked if she would come back to another Church of God Blood Drive, she responded, “Of course! And [I’d] bring some friends too!”
The event proved so successful that New Song Radio featured it on one of its segments. During an aired interview with Patrice, she described her feelings on the drive. “Every single time we have done a blood drive at the World Mission Society Church of God in Ridgewood, it has been an overwhelming feeling of happiness. People are very, very glad to be a part of the process – I’m talking about our employees with Community Blood Services… and also the donors themselves. It just seems like everybody has the same reason to be there and that is to help make certain we have an adequate blood supply for the 20+ hospitals that we serve in the community and the three trauma centers…” An unexpected victory also occurred at the Church of God Drive: ten people registered to donate bone marrow, “which is an amazing result for our first time,” acknowledged Patrice.
Community Blood Services also nominated the World Mission Society Church of God to receive a special Award of Excellence through the America’s Blood Centers Organization. Patrice spoke about why she nominated the Church of God for this award: “It’s a national award. It is something I felt very deeply about because of the commitment that the Church of God has made to us. Essentially, it is an award for the most productive blood drive… I can’t think of an organization that is more deserving of this kind of recognition. [The Church of God’s] mission to assist [their] fellow man is relevant and important and is one that Community Blood Services shares… it resonates to the actual gift of life.”
The World Mission Society Church of God looks forward to continuing its efforts of conducting blood drives during the winter and summer months when blood supply levels are at its lowest.