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Interfaith Blood Drive Largest in Region's History

Northern California Blood Services Region

June 22, 2011
 

The American Red Cross Northern California Blood Services Region will hold 23 day-long blood drives throughout July sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Oakland and 14 Stakes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the north Bay Area.  This is believed to be the largest single blood drive in the history of the region as well as the largest church-organized blood drive in the national organization’s history.

The “Interfaith Community Blood Drive” will be held at Catholic, Mormon and other churches in Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco counties.  The drives will provide convenient locations for parishioners and the general public to make donations. The month-long drive has an ambitious goal to collect 1,500 units of blood.

The first drive will be held on Friday, July 1 from noon to 6 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, located at 2350 Jeffrey Way in Brentwood.  Representatives from all three organizations will be present to greet and thank the first donors.

“July is traditionally a difficult month to collect blood because schools are out and many people are on vacation,” said Jeff Meyer, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross Northern California Blood Services Region.  “The commitment by the Catholic congregations and Latter-day Saints stakes is to collect more than 20 percent of the blood we need in July, and we are excited they have readily taken on this need.”

Every two seconds someone in the U.S. will need a blood transfusion.  Blood transfusions are used for trauma victims - due to accidents and burns - heart surgery, organ transplants, women with complications during childbirth, newborns and premature babies, and patients receiving treatment for cancer or other diseases, such as sickle cell disease.

“Our goal is to be of service to the broader community by combining the efforts of the Catholic and Mormon communities,” said Most Reverend Salvatore Cordileone, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Oakland. 

According to the Red Cross, the number one reason donors say they give blood is because they "want to help others." The Interfaith Community Blood Drive is an example of this.

“It seemed that a blood drive would provide our church members with an opportunity to work shoulder-to-shoulder in meeting a great need in the community,” said Dean Criddle, president of the Oakland Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  “Blood is an intensely personal gift.  In a very literal sense, it is a gift of self – sometimes a gift of life.”

Individuals who are at least 17 years of age (16 with parental permission), meet height and weight requirements (at least 110 pounds based on height) and are in generally good physical health may be eligible to donate blood.

For more information about the Interfaith Community Blood Drive, please go to rollupyoursleeve.info.

About the American Red Cross

The Northern California Blood Services Region of the Red Cross operates five blood donation centers and holds mobile blood drives throughout the Bay Area.  The region supplies blood to 29 Bay Area hospitals.

About the Catholic Diocese of Oakland

The Catholic Diocese of Oakland is home to more than 650,000 Catholics.  The Diocese was created in 1962, encompassing Alameda and Contra Costa counties.  It comprises 84 parishes and is also home to 11 pastoral centers, four specialized service centers, two homes for the aged, five specialized homes, nine high schools, 45 elementary schools and 9 colleges and universities.

About the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints follows the example of Jesus Christ by serving those in need without respect to race, nationality, or religion.  The Church is known for its effective member volunteer network, and Church members give freely of their resources to assist the poor and needy.

 

Contacts:

Sara O'Brien Mike Brown Richard Kopf
Communications Manager Diocese of Oakland North Bay Public Affairs Director
American Red Cross mbrown@oakdiocese.org Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
obriensj@usa.redcross.org 510-271-1931 rkopf@fremontgroup.com
510-594-5205   415-284-8700