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Massive blood donation drive by over 18,000 church members in South Korea

blood donation drive in South Korea

Press Release
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 days.

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.

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