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Area churches unite for Spirit of Southland Blood Drive, May 25–26

Hosted at Living Springs Community Church, Glenwood

GLENWOOD, Ill. (May 2, 2023) – “We started the Spirit of Southland Blood Drive to organize smaller churches that do not have congregations large enough to hold their own blood drives,” explained Kerry Ingram, a member of First Presbyterian Church of Chicago Heights. As an additional benefit, says Ingram, participating churches experience a sense of unity in helping the broader community.

This year’s Spirit of Southland Blood Drive will be held at Living Springs Community Church in Glenwood on Thursday, May 25, 3 – 7 p.m. and on Friday, May 26, 12 – 4 p.m.

This is the second year of the united drive. Last year a total of 33 units were collected. This year Ingram has set a goal of 40 units. He remembers when individual churches were able to collect that amount in their own one-day drive.

“Our church has records of holding blood drives from 1987 until 2014,” Ingram wrote in an email to The Lansing Journal. “Up until 2002, our church alone would collect 30–45 units of blood on a single Saturday morning in April. As our congregation got smaller, our donations shrank, too — in 2014 our church collected only 9 units of blood.”

Though blood donations across the country were increasing by 2% annually through 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting quarantines had a negative impact on participation, said a 2020 report from McKinsey & Company. (Improving the fragile US supply of blood, September 2020) Blood drives hosted at community organizations are one effort to reverse the trend.

Participation

So far, twelve local churches have indicated their participation in the two-day Spirit of Southland Blood Drive:

  1. Calvary United Protestant Church
  2. Church of the Holy Family
  3. First Presbyterian Church of Chicago Heights
  4. First Presbyterian Church of Homewood
  5. Flossmoor Community Church
  6. Hazel Crest United Methodist Church
  7. Life Church
  8. Living Springs Community Church
  9. St. Agnes/St. Kieran/Our Lady of the Heights
  10. St. Andrew United Methodist Church
  11. St. Paul Lutheran Church of Chicago Heights
  12. New Faith Baptist Church

Ingram invites other churches or organizations to join the Spirit Of Southland Blood Drive. They can do so by contacting Lawrence Smith or Tracey Jaramillo of Versiti Blood Centers. Versiti is the blood collection agency administering the drive.

Appointments are encouraged for would-be blood donors, but walk-ins will be accepted. Donors can schedule an appointment by calling 1-800-7TO-GIVE and mentioning the SOS Blood Drive, or by visiting versiti.org.

The host church, Living Springs, is located at 19051 South Halsted in Glenwood, Illinois.

Spirit of Southland Blood Drive
Living Springs Community Church is located at 19051 South Halsted in Glenwood, Illinois. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

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Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.