donation drive by over 18,000 church members in South Korea
May 8, 2022
MANILA – In order
to resolve the national blood shortage, the Shincheonji Church of
Jesus, Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony conducted a massive
blood donation drive in two weeks from April 18 to May 1. A total of
18,478 church members were able to donate exceeding the original
estimate of 6,000.
According to the Blood
Management Center of the Korean Red Cross, the blood donations
equate to 3.5 days' blood supply (1 day's blood supply is equivalent
to 5,029 blood donations). Due to the voluntary blood donation from
the church members, the national blood supply shortage that has been
ongoing since the beginning of this year due to the Omicron variant
has been resolved at once.
Prior to this, domestic
blood reserves were only a little over three days' supply which was
greatly insufficient compared to the proper reserve of five days’
supply and the blood supply was in a state of emergency. As of the
first day that Shincheonji Church of Jesus completed the group blood
donation, the amount of blood in Korea has risen sharply to 5.9
During the early days of
COVID-19 in 2020, 6,000 church members also participated in the
donation of plasma for the development of a treatment for COVID-19
over the course of three sessions at the request of the Korea
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At that time, there was
no vaccine or treatment available. While suffering the aftereffects
of COVID-19 and mental health difficulties, all the members of the
church took steps to overcome the national crisis and received
attention not only at home but also abroad.
There are 16 members who
donated blood more than 100 times and the most number of blood
donations came from a member named Choi Byung-hyuk from Ulsan who
has participated 538 times so far and was inducted into the Hall of
Fame of the Blood Management Center. In addition, many young men and
women in their 20s participated in blood donation for the first time
in their lives after hearing the news of a national crisis.
All blood donations and
blood donation rights collected will be turned over to the Korean
Red Cross on May 9. Blood donation rights is a policy being promoted
by the Korean Red Cross wherein a donor can donate the amount of
blood instead of receiving a souvenir after donating. Shincheonji
Church of Jesus allowed the members who participated in the blood
donation to make the choice for themselves and the donation rights
that have been collected so far are equivalent to 100 million won.
An official from the Blood
Center said, “Many members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus are
participating to fill up the blood supply shortage. We are reaching
our daily average target well enough, and there is no organization
that does this. What was particularly impressive was how they were
trying to gather twice as many people as eligible, considering that
there will be unqualified people among blood donation applicants. It
felt like they were working with us. Thank you very much,” he said.
An official of Shincheonji
Church of Jesus said, “It was even more meaningful because it was a
blood donation in which all the members participated with one heart.
We would like to express our gratitude to the [members] who came
running right away when they heard that the nation is suffering from
a blood shortage, and we will diligently play the role of light and
salt and live a faith life that gives glory to God.”
The Philippine Branch of
the church will also hold a blood donation drive this month of May
in collaboration with the Philippine Red Cross in Silang, Cavite.