APPLETON — As we approach the summer holiday season, there is an annual decline in blood donations. Yet, according to the Community Blood Center in Appleton, there is an ongoing need for blood and, every two seconds, someone needs a transfusion.
With that in mind, three parishes in Appleton recently competed in a tri-parish blood drive. St. Thomas More, St. Pius X and St. Therese parishes competed in a “Triple Crown Blood Drive.”
“St. Thomas More Parish has hosted a number of drives with the Community Blood Center,” explained Chris Rosenbaum, St. Thomas More’s parish nurse. “And as such, we are always thinking of creative ways to maintain/increase donor giving. Competition serves to energize most efforts.”
Rosenbaum worked with Tina Poppe, St. Therese’s parish nurse, and Terry Kuehl, St. Pius X’s business administrator, in arranging the blood drive and donor sign-ups in the weeks leading up to it. This included personal testimonies at Masses from parish members who have been blood donors or who have received donations.
The blood drive was held May 3 at St. Thomas More. The three parishes competed in teams named for their respective pastors: Team Lucas (Fr. Jim Lucas at St. Thomas More), Team Hoffman (Fr. Bill Hoffman at St. Therese) and Team Farrell (Fr. Tom Farrell at St. Pius X).
In total, 102 donors stepped up, with 87 pints of blood collected. Team Lucas “crossing the finish line” first in the donation goal and earning rights a traveling trophy presented by the St. Thomas More’s Pastoral Care Commission.
The Year of Mercy was also an inspiration for the tri-parish blood drive.
“Our community hospitals rely on the generosity of donors to provide blood on a daily basis,” said Rosenbaum. “During this Year of Mercy and beyond, we are called to come to the aid of our neighbor in their spiritual and bodily necessities. What a charitable gift of mercy is the giving of blood to save a life?”