April 4, 2023

Colombian Adventists Collect 250 Units of Blood for Türkiye

Drive is part of service initiatives that seek to benefit society in Colombia and beyond.

Laura Acosta and Inter-American Division, and Adventist Review
Seventh-day Adventists fill out forms before entering a Red Cross tent to donate blood in Bogotá, Colombia. [Photo: Yesmer Tarazona]

Seventh-day Adventists in Bogotá, Colombia, donated blood to help victims of the earthquake that hit Türkiye in February. Dozens of church members lined up to take part in the blood drive run by the Colombian Red Cross during the church’s centennial celebration.

“On behalf of Colombia’s Red Cross National Blood Bank, we thank you for the commitment and solidarity of your Adventist community to share happiness, peace, and love through this blood donation,” Félix Rocha, promotion coordinator of Colombia’s Red Cross National Blood Bank, said. Rocha reported that 250 units of blood were collected during the event. “Our group of collaborators and volunteers here are impressed with the beautiful purpose and warm reception shown in donating blood.”

Alvaro Niño, president of the South Colombia Union of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, said the partnership between the church and the Red Cross organization has been going on for some time. It has included numerous initiatives promoting a healthy lifestyle through cycling clubs, health expos, publications, and other humanitarian and ecological activities such as food distribution and planting of trees.

“The Adventist Church carries out this blood donation event as an expression of compassionate love exemplified in the experience of our Lord Jesus Christ, as an act of kindness for those who need it to live and for their well-being,” Niño said.

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Henry Béltran, executive secretary of the South Colombian Union, said the administration is grateful to church members for coming through. “They have donated blood that will be sent right away to help in Türkiye,” he said. “It was wonderful to see so many [members] willing to donate their blood.”

Allan López was eager to take part in the blood drive. “Donating blood for me means that I can help someone in a transcendental way, because no one gets a blood transfusion just for kicks, but because something important is happening,” he said. “My grandmother used to depend on these types of donations, and at times, it was very critical to find someone with the same type of blood to assist her. So, this is a privilege for me. It’s about providing relief and help during an emergency.”

It’s also about being a channel of blessings for other people, Niño added. “Just like when we share a book or other literature, when we send an encouraging message through our social media platforms, when we invite people to our churches or take part in cleaning a park, and other activities, it’s important to benefit others,” he said.

It won’t be the last blood drive in the region, church leaders said. They are already planning for the next one.

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division news site.