WASHINGTON, June 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — On Monday, June 20th, Shincheonji held a blood drive with Inova Blood Donor Services from 11am-7pm. This drive was organized in response to a severely limited blood supply. This drive drew approximately 100 Shincheonji donors in one day, with an additional 300 Shincheonji donors pledged to give blood in the coming week.
Presently, hospitals nationwide are under serious threat. Nick Gehrig of Red Cross Blood Services spoke on behalf of the national blood supply, stating "Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, which is why we are making this emergency request for donations."
Maintaining a steady inventory of blood is critical to the emergency preparedness of our community. Blood donations have fallen short of hospital needs for the past few months, resulting in about 39,000 fewer donations than what is needed.
Historically, the weeks before and after the July 4th holiday have been a time of blood shortage, but this year is significantly more dire. Steven Morales, a Phlebotomist at Inova Blood Services said "I want to give a big thank you to Shincheonji for coming out today with their entire community to collect blood. We need this approaching the July 4th Holiday. Thank you! Love the community and the organization!"
The current blood emergency is partly due to usual pressures of an absent and moving summertime donor base, but what is new is changing donor behavior since the COVID-19 pandemic. "The ugly reality that COVID brought to blood collectors is a disturbing uncertainty and scarcity in the blood supply," said Terri Craddock, Senior Director of Inova Blood Donor Services.
Whether out of fear or broken habit, COVID-19 kept many would-be donors at home. So today the shortage is growing, loyal donors are disappearing, and many blood drives are still falling short of projected goals. Yet, as Washington, DC area’s primary blood supplier, Inova Blood Donor Center still has a huge responsibility to our local community.
At Shincheonji, we believe that we also have a very personal responsibility to support those who protect our community. Our local branch shares this same heart with our headquarters abroad. In South Korea, Shincheonji recently bolstered the national blood supply, also severely depleted, by providing over 18,000 individual blood donations in just 3 days. With these donations, our hope is that we can shine the light to both our local community and around the world.