Red Cross blood drive

Mara Atherton gives blood during a Red Cross blood drive at Southeast’s Blankenbaker Campus.

When Southeast Christian Church’s leadership decided to help the Louisville community with a Red Cross blood drive, they had no idea that 300 appointments would be filled in two days. Those who volunteered too late asked when the church will do it again.

Blood drives were held April 15 at Southeast’s La Grange and Blankenbaker campuses and April 16 at Southeast’s Southwest, Elizabethtown and Crestwood campuses.

At each campus, Red Cross personnel and blood donors followed COVID-19 protocol with social distancing, masks and hand sanitizer.

Red Cross Team Supervisor Eric Schweinhart said the blood drive will help ease shortages since many blood drives have been canceled due to COVID-19.

“Not every facility has the space and volunteers to meet all the guidelines,” he said. “Large rooms at Southeast are ideal for donation. And the volunteers are so good.”

Southeast Associate Pastor Matt Reagan said it was awesome to see so many people from different campuses and other churches loving on people in the community by donating blood.

When Southeast member Jeremy Boles realized his wife Sarah could not donate because she had gone on a mission trip to Africa, he decided to take her place.

“It was so easy, and I know it helps a lot of people,” he said.

Blood donations will help patients with cancer, bleeding disorders, sickle cell anemia and those who have had accidents or surgery. Each donation has the potential to save three lives. Human blood cannot be manufactured.

LifeBridge Manager Lisa Reynolds said she was not surprised by how quickly appointments were filled.

“This is a tangible way to love on people,” Reynolds said. “People are wanting to help in some way. Our people are so good about volunteering and giving.”

Charlie Vittitow, who leads Southeast’s Missions Ministry, talked with many volunteers donating blood for the first time.

“So many just wanted to do something,” Vittitow said. “This is the church in action, helping fill a practical need in our community.”