Conference Blood Drive Is a Way to Reach Out to Host City

Photo by Eddie Edmonds
Brad Bohrer (left) in caped persona of Annual Conference blood drive coordinator, invites people to give blood last year at the 2011 Conference in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The annual blood drive is being planned again for the 2012 Annual Conference in St. Louis, as a way Brethren may give back to the host community.

“We Brethren have been quietly giving blood at Annual Conference for years, leaving over 220 pints in Pittsburgh and just over 140 in Grand Rapids,” said coordinator Bradley Bohrer, pastor of Crest Manor Church of the Brethren in South Bend, Ind.

Bohrer has been told by host locations that the Brethren who attend Annual Conference “always give far more blood than any other groups that come to the city, including other church groups!” he reported. “Last year, we outgave one of the local hospitals” which was having a blood drive at the same time as the Conference drive. “The Michigan Blood people had to shift staff from the hospital to us due to volume, even with our lower numbers,” he added.

The Annual Conference blood drive is carried out in cooperation with the American Red Cross and Brethren Disaster Ministries. A Red Cross release that has gone out to publicize the blood drive was titled, “Hop in the Pool this Summer, the Blood Donor Pool. Don’t Sweat it!”

“Currently, only 38 percent of the United States population is eligible to donate blood,” the release said. “Of those eligible donors, only about eight percent actually give blood. . . . Someone in the US needs blood every two seconds and 44,000 units of blood are needed for transfusions daily. That’s why it’s important to attract new donors to the donor pool and encourage current donors to give blood every 56 days.”

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required. Donors must be in general good health, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be at least 17 years old (16 with completed Parental Consent Form). New height and weight restrictions apply to donors 18 and younger.

The best times to donate at the 2012 Annual Conference will be Monday, July 9, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. or Tuesday, July 10, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., at the America’s Center Exhibit Hall 2. Everyone who attempts to donate will receive a free t-shirt, while supplies last, and a chance to win a Gibson guitar.

There will be a table for registration and to sign in to volunteer at the blood drive on Saturday and Sunday, July 7-8, in the Annual Conference registration area. “Look for us and sign up!” invites Bohrer.

To schedule an appointment to donate during the Conference, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit and enter sponsor code: brethren. For more information about the blood drive call 574 291-3748 or e-mail .

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