The UCKG has launched an extensive education campaign among its more than 70,000 members in the Gauteng area to explain the criteria for people to become blood donors. Those who lead sexually safe lifestyles, are healthy and between the ages of 16 and 65 and weigh more than 50kg are encouraged to donate blood regularly. Each unit of blood donated can save three lives and regular donors can donate a unit four times each year.
UCKG launched its blood drive ahead of the Easter weekend with members of the youth group donating blood during their weekly meeting. SANBS set up a mobile blood collection centre at the church's premises on Saturday 9 April.
Vanessa Raju, SANBS manager: brand and communications, said SANBS currently had about 1.9 days' stock. To successfully meet the demand they need to maintain a five day stock level. This holiday period is critical and SANBS urges people to donate blood and to ask family and friends to do the same.
"We are pleased to have had the opportunity of educating so many young people about the importance of donating blood, and delighted that so many members of the youth group donated blood during this bleed. Our research and statistics show that regular blood donors are safe donors. This commitment to donate blood to others helps ensure they continue to lead safe lifestyles," said Vanessa Raju.
The UCKG urges Christians to remember the sacrifice on the cross and to set aside time to donate blood which can help save lives.
"Blood is the most precious gift you can give to another person, and it costs you nothing except a little time. One day someone in your family may need a blood transfusion. Without available blood, your loved-one may die. At UCKG we believe that we have a responsibility to help save lives through donating blood," said Nametso Mofokeng, public relations officer for UCKG.
The UCKG is committed to helping people in every area of life. "We offer a 24-hour helpline to counsel and assist all in need. We run regular HIV/Aids awareness drives and distribute thousands of condoms every month. Our church is open seven days a week. We run numerous outreach initiatives including a soup kitchen and feeding schemes. We visit people in hospitals and prisoners in correctional facilities. The UCKG cares about people and is committed to making a difference and helping to transform people's lives. We hope this blood collection will help save the lives of our fellow South Africans," said Nametso.