How much blood does the Church of Jesus Christ donate each year?
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Two national leaders visited BYU over the past week and described a specific way in which bridges of understanding are built by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern made a remarkable statement on the church’s contributions.
“So many church members give the gift of life by donating blood,” McGovern said when BYU’s Marriott School of Business honored her as International Executive of the Year on Friday.
How much blood does the church provide?
“We receive 100,000 units of blood from the church each year. There is no organization, no institution anywhere that comes close, ”she said.
Then she drew the direct line between faith and service.
“Over the years, I have come to appreciate the close connection between faith and service,” said McGovern, who is Jewish. “I see this commitment not only in my own faith, but in the faith of many others, and certainly in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is reflected in the missions you complete. This is reflected in the huge amount of charitable donations you give. This is reflected in the volunteer commitment of so many members. And this is reflected in the powerful work Latter-day Saint charities do around the world. …
“From a very personal perspective, I am impressed by your community’s commitment to faith and service. On behalf of the American Red Cross, we are very, very fortunate to have the church as such an important partner.
Martin Luther King III also linked faith and service during his visit to BYU. He told me in an interview that his relationship with the church began with an act of service by church members. In fact, it was 1,500 acts of service. You can read my story about it here.
King also praised the church for its collective service around the world, and in his forum address at BYU’s Marriott Center on Tuesday, he made a statement that echoed President Russell M. Nelson’s appeal to members of the church to “build bridges of cooperation instead of walls of segregation.” (President Nelson shared with me the genesis of this sentence.)
The king said:
“Service is a powerful healing force that builds bridges of hope, trust, and kindness across the depths of alienation and mistrust. It is a powerful force for transformation as it establishes a connection between the server and those being served.
I asked Sharon Eubank, president of Latter-day Saint Charities, about the church’s donations to the Red Cross.
“Church college campuses have blood drives and we do appeals for donations on Just Serve when there is a shortage,” she said, “but these are mostly parish drives and stake. “
She told me that the church’s relationship with the Red Cross goes back a long way.
“It started with Emmeline Wells, who met Clara Barton,” Sister Eubank said. Wells was the church’s fifth Relief Society general president from 1910 to 1921. Their relationship began before that.
“The Relief Society started the first chapter of the Red Cross in Utah to provide relief kits during the Spanish American War (1898),” Sister Eubank said.
My recent stories
Martin Luther King III Calls on BYU Students to Stand Up and Create His Father’s ‘Beloved Community’ (September 28)
How hurricane relief in 2008 prompted Martin Luther King III to speak to BYU on Tuesday (September 27)
Afghan refugee crisis now largest American Red Cross relief effort (September 24)
As COVID-19 Rises, First Presidency Calls for Masks in Temples, Urges Vaccination (September 22)
1. There will be two additional editions of ChurchBeat this weekend during general conference. One will arrive in your inbox shortly after the last session, on Saturday and Sunday.
2. On Sunday evening, you can see Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Sharon Eubank, President of Latter-day Saint Work, and Jack N. Gerard, Seventy General Authority, at a table. round that they filmed in Italy. The debate begins BYU 28th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium. Look at the sign here.
What i read
The secretary of the First Presidency gave a look behind the scenes in the 91,000 hours of preparation it takes to host, broadcast, record and translate a general conference.
KSL-TV will broadcast eight new specials related to the church in conference this weekend.
The Associated Press written about the church’s efforts to help Haitian refugees at its center for short-term migrants in Houston. I visited the center in June and told the poignant story of a migrant family’s journey to this safe haven.
Here is a popular example of service, with 50 Latter-day Saint women in an area helping a specific community with specific needs.
These photos of huge steel pipes inserted under the Salt Lake City Temple to reinforce the foundations are striking.
Gail Miller and the Miller family, who recently sold the Utah Jazz, have now sold the Larry H. Miller Automotive Businesses in an effort to continue to diversify and engage in community philanthropy.
The church has a new emotional autonomy course.
I love the stories of people who have overcome the spectator effect, a psychological phenomenon that discourages people from intervening in an emergency when they are in a crowd. People are more likely to take action when they are alone. This story describes how an NFL player heroically ran to the aid of a woman being assaulted in a park.
I met BYU statistics professor Shane Reese when we talked about his work on a model to detect cheating by an NBA referee. He is now academic vice-president of the university. BYU recently posted a Q&A with him on vaccination rates.
COVID-19 is now the deadliest pandemic in US history, reported National Geographic.