“Do something amazing; give blood”. By hosting Blood Donation sessions in Church meetinghouses throughout the UK, the Church is helping the NHS Blood and Transplant’s familiar slogan, and the highly desired outcomes behind it, achieve a broader fulfilment.
Throughout 2014 there were 190 blood donation sessions held in 24 wards and branches across 14 stakes. The vast majority of donors in sessions held in LDS buildings are not actually members of the Church but for the brief time they pass through one of our meetinghouses they have what for many may be their first encounter with the Church.
The chart shows how donations have grown over the last six years totalling 18,024 individual donations in 2014 through LDS meetinghouses.
Now, approximately 5% of all blood donated in the UK comes through an LDS Church meetinghouse, and in terms of the good it is doing, Theo Clarke, Lead Donor Relations Manager for the NHS Blood and Transplant says, “Although this isn't exact, each blood donation has the ability to save or improve the lives of up to 3 adults or seven babies therefore the 18,024 donations in 2014 helps 54,000 adults or 126,168 babies. As I say the figures are guestimates but they're impressive none the less.”
All wards and branches with an LDS Meetinghouse are invited to contact their local NHSBT office and offer the meetinghouse as a free venue for blood donation sessions. Each stake Director of Public Affairs has access to a ‘How to Guide’ that walks through the process of approaching the NHSBT. This also includes guidelines referring to Church policy on not offering Tea and Coffee on these sessions in Church buildings.
As the Church moves forward with the strong relationship it has built with the NHSBT many more lives will be saved and improved because of the blood collected in our meetinghouses. Furthermore, community relationships will be enhanced as tens of thousands of members of the public have the opportunity to enter one of our Church buildings perhaps for the first time. One word of caution when they do come to give blood; we must remember that this is not a missionary proselytizing moment. We should not seek to engage them in missionary discussion. Please just let them come and donate blood and leave unsolicited. Of course, should the Church ambience or one of our excellent pieces of religious artwork provoke a question on their part, we should be on hand to give an answer but please let them approach us rather than the other way round.