People Live When People Give
During the summer of 2017, a Bozeman Church member toured the United Blood Services (UBS) blood bank in Billings, Montana, with 18 students from various backgrounds. While the shortage of blood was being discussed, it became apparent Christians were viewed as unwilling blood donors.
The tour guide emphatically stated it was difficult to engage churches in blood drives. He made many failed attempts engaging his own church.
A representative from UBS (now Vitalant) was invited to present the idea of a church-hosted blood drive to the Bozeman Church. The church board and the pastor were excited and voted to open the church doors to a blood drive three Sabbaths a year.
For several weeks prior to each drive, a banner advertises for donors in front of the church. The drive is also announced on the local Christian radio station and on Facebook pages like Secret Bozeman. Vitalant moves into the church fellowship hall with their equipment and staff. The Bozeman Church recruits donors and provides a potluck meal.
To date, 239 donors have donated blood and an estimated 326 lives have been saved. Every two seconds someone in America needs blood. Only 3% of eligible donors donate blood. If only 10% of eligible donors donated, there would be no blood shortage. There is no substitute for human blood.
If your church would like to host a blood drive as a way of giving back and engaging the community, email Ashton Walters or call 209-768-9358. Vitalant is the regional blood supplier for Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.