By Sharon Billings Franzén
Every year, many who attend the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference make a point of intentionally carving out a space in their busy Conference schedule to donate blood. Through the Annual Conference Blood Drive, sponsored by Brethren Disaster Ministries, between 1984 and 2019 attendees gave 8,825 pints of blood. In recent years, the drive has averaged more than 170 pints each year.
A Virtual Blood Drive was held in 2016 and 2019 to invite those not attending Annual Conference to also give blood by pledging online and donating locally.
This year, with the entire Conference online, we are encouraging everyone in the Church of the Brethren–regardless of whether registering for or attending the Conference–to join the Virtual Blood Drive and to donate locally between June 15 and July 15.
We need you to let us know that you gave blood so we can keep track of the donations and can give a final tally once the drive is over.
Here is how to participate:
— Pledge to give blood on behalf of the Church of the Brethren by going to www.brethren.org/virtualblooddrive2021 for a link to pledge through the American Red Cross SleevesUp website; OR contact Brethren Disaster Ministries to give a pledge by email to email@example.com or by phone to 800-451-4407 ext. 1.
— Find a blood drive near you offered by any blood service and make an appointment to donate, preferably between June 15 and July 15. Red Cross drives can be found at www.redcross.org/give-blood.html.
— Keep your appointment! Take a photo, if you can, to celebrate your gift and to encourage others to donate.
— Make sure to let Brethren Disaster Ministries know by email or phone that you followed through with your pledge. It is the only way we can confirm that you gave blood.
— Share your photos with us and share them on any social media, using #SleevesUpBrethren2021.
If you have any questions or want more information, contact Sharon Franzén at Brethren Disaster Ministries at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-451-4407 ext. 1.
— Sharon Billings Franzén is office manager for Brethren Disaster Ministries, working out of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.
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