WASHINGTON, May 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Blood shortages due to COVID-19 are prevalent across the world. In January, the American Red Cross declared "a national blood crisis," calling for an increase in donation. This blood crisis was called the worst shortage in over a decade and it posed a significant risk to patient care.
In South Korea, 18,000 donors from Heavenly Culture, World Peace and Restoration of Light (HWPL) and Shincheonji Church of Jesus collaboratively donated blood during a two-week blood drive beginning April 18th. This joint blood drive was recorded as the largest single group blood donation in the country.
Namsun Cho, head of the Korean Red Cross Blood Services, said, "When the impact of the Omicron reached its peak, Shincheonji Church of Jesus launched a large scale of blood donation. It was like rain during a drought. We are surprised that the number of donors exceeded 6,000 in 3 days and more people participated. We appreciate their life-saving dedication."
A donation of this magnitude is particularly impactful, as even a single blood donation can save up to three lives.
"They did a really great job in the life-sharing movement. This scale is equivalent to one army corps donating blood for a year. The number of blood donors is nearly four times the number in a normal day, a great help in overcoming the current blood supply crisis," said an official from the Blood Services.
"We also appreciate the members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus who participated in the nationwide plasma donation for the development of a treatment for COVID-19 back in 2020," he added.
In South Korea, blood donation certificates are issued to blood donors that can be used for a reduced fee when paying for a future blood transfusion. All the donors of Shincheonji and HWPL gave their personal certificates to alleviate the financial burden of patients in need of a blood transfusion.
Efforts to aid in replenishing and protecting the blood supply were not limited to just South Korea, however. In Washington, DC, members of Shincheonji organized a blood drive to donate plasma and help accelerate the development of a cure for COVID-19. The campaign organized and actively participated in by the DC congregation of Shincheonji Church of Jesus included four mass blood and plasma drives. Drawing hundreds of donors, two of the blood and plasma drives were held at Children’s National Hospital and two were held at INOVA Hospital.
The heart of Shincheonji Church of Jesus is clearly shown in their dedication to continuing to help their surrounding communities despite their members having also suffered greatly during the pandemic. Aligned with the ideals of Shincheonji Church of Jesus, HWPL is carrying out long-term peace projects based on solidarity with civil society and international organizations in 193 countries. The priorities of both organizations make an ideal partnership as their members donate blood together, and this is evidenced by the impact of their joint effort.