Since 2010, The Sanctuary has hosted blood drives 4-6 times each year (22 drives total to date). In that time we’ve collected over 528 pints (units) of blood and each one of those can serve 3 different patients when separated into red cells, platelets and plasma. (Fun fact: Most adult bodies contain about 10 pints blood. Giving one unit is then equal to about 10%… It is interesting to note that as such a donor gives a “tithe” of their blood.)

Pretty much all of the blood collected in this area is used right here in Los Angeles county, where the need is plenty. Recently, about 1/3 of our donors have been from the surrounding community, but have never attended The Sanctuary. This means people are becoming aware of our church, meeting our people and being exposed to the Good News of Jesus.

Our drives, every 2-3 months, produce an average of 28 units each, with our last drive producing the most to date: 42 units. We are currently collecting blood more than any other private organization working with the American Red Cross in our valley. I actually checked this with our Red Cross rep and some of the other churches in town host 1 or 2 drives each year, collecting more per drive. However, through our regular giving, we’re #1! (Not that it’s a competition) It’s that “steady goodness” thing (James 3:13). John Wesley said “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

And not everyone can. Whenever I’m taking sign-ups, people tell me that they are not eligible to donate for some valid medical reason. Many of the missions teams we send even pose a risk for donors traveling to locations like Haiti, Central Africa and the hill tribes of Thailand when we partner with ZOE. Piercings and tattoos can make you ineligible for a year, and certain medications. If you’re in that boat, God bless you! For those of us who can give, I count it an honor, and I want to give as much as I can. We have a couple of you who have given over 6 gallons in your lifetimes. Our reward is in Heaven, so names aren’t necessary… but God knows! Imagine giving every 2 months. That’s 6 pints a year and when we commit over the course of years the impact is amazing! I admire that commitment and more importantly, so does God.

Let’s continue to reach our community in this practical, tangible, loving way, sharing Christ to those in dire need. For info and registration, check out the Know To Grow in your bulletin or visit our website.

Jonathan McFarland
Blood Drive Coordinator