TAMPA, Fla. — January is known as Blood Donor Month and it’s also a critical time for blood banks who see less donations during the holiday season and winter months.
What You Need To Know
- January is a critical time for blood banks who see less donations during the holidays
- Back-to-back hurricanes have also contributed to an ongoing shortage
- On Sunday, an annual blood drive was held by the World Mission Society Church of God
One Blood spokesman Pat Michaels says blood banks across the South East are trying to replenish their banks for the new year and encourage the people to donate.
Back-to-back hurricanes have also contributed to the shortage.
“All the way from Thanksgiving through all of the holidays after that into the new year, people are traveling. They are going to see their families, they are thinking of shopping, blood donation is not top of mind,” said Michaels.
#NOW Blood Donation drive hosted by World Mission Society Church of God in Tampa. Church members from 7 states are here to donate blood to benefit Ft Myers sister church, community impacted by #HurricaneIan @BN9 pic.twitter.com/x1qCha0KYM— Fadia Mayté Patterson, M.S. (@FadiaTVNews) January 8, 2023
Every year the World Mission Society Church of God hosts a blood drive, but this year it took on a different meaning for the Tampa congregation.
“We have a branch in Fort Myers, so Hurricane Ian really hit close to home,” member Alberto Parra.
Parra helped organize Sunday’s blood drive to benefit those impacted by the storm.
“We felt that our spiritual family is over there and since there is shortage of blood in Fort Myers, we felt that we can lend an helping hand to the community,” he added.
Historically, the number of blood donations drop during the holiday and winter season compared to the rest of the year.
“We have churches across the whole United States, but from 7 states, Georgia, Alabama, North and South Carolina and Tennessee all of the members are coming here to help with the donations,” said Parra.
With the help of members from all over the country, the church’s goal is to collect 200 blood donations.
Mayor Jane Castor was one of the first guests at the church’s annual blood drive.
“This is an incredible gesture for those who are in need, but it shows what a great community we live in,” said Castor.
Parra says their annual blood drive is meant to spread the awareness and biblical teachings of Passover.
“Just like Jesus spread love during Passover, We too want to spread love to the community,” he added.
While the Fort Myers community works to rebuild their lives, church members say they want to bless those impacted by the critical blood shortage.
A single blood donation can save up to three lives.