Center of blood donating

As Unitarians, we follow seven principles that acknowledge the worth of every person, encourage personal spiritual growth and a search for truth and meaning and strive for a world united by peace, liberty and justice. On a local basis we welcome people of all races, religions, political convictions and sexual orientations into our congregation.

As a companion to that effort, we are actively working to participate in community events such as the Central New York TomatoFest and Founder’s Day in Auburn. Our next community-oriented event may literally save lives. March is Red Cross Month, and we are hosting a blood drive for the Central New York Chapter of the American Red Cross.

I have been a blood donor for decades, and for the last five years I have been donating platelets. I see this as my way of giving back to my community. Many of us know of someone who has needed blood in an emergency and who is alive today because someone donated their blood. When our Auburn Unitarian Universalist Society Board of Directors was trying to identify ways we could provide a benefit to the Auburn community, the idea of a blood drive came to me and we all agreed it may become an annual event.

The need for blood is constant, and blood drives offer an easy opportunity for members of the community to be of service. We also consider this event an ideal way for our members to make new connections with the public and a way for the public to see that we are willing and eager to offer our assistance to the community. Every 30 seconds, someone is in serious need of blood. The Red Cross is continuously taking blood donations to meet the demand, but emergencies frequently tax the system. This is just one element of their work. They also provide support to victims of fires, natural disasters and other life-threatening events. Every eight minutes, the American Red Cross responds to an emergency, and 90 percent of Red Cross workers are volunteers.

The Auburn Unitarian Universalist Society has designated Saturday, March 30, as our first Red Cross blood donation day. It will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until noon. We are located at 607 N. Seward Ave., Auburn. Our building is accessible to people with mobility limitations, and there is plenty of free parking. Appointments are encouraged but not required. Walk-ins are welcome. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call the church at (315) 253-9029 or call me at (315) 635-6762.

I would like to thank the members of the Central New York Chapter of the Red Cross for their assistance in organizing this event and for partnering with us on such an important cause. Lent began on Wednesday, March 6; why not donate the gift of life instead of giving up candy! Better yet, why not do both?

We invite you to join us for our worship service Sunday mornings at 10:30. If you would like to receive our free monthly newsletter, please contact auusoffice@gmail.com.

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Don Ives is a member of the Auburn Unitarian Universalist Society, which was founded in 1833 and is located at 607 N. Seward Ave., Auburn. Services are held at 10:30 a.m. Sundays. All men, women and children of every race, religious creed, political conviction and sexual orientation are welcome.