“It’s such an opportunity that God has placed at our feet.”
“What better way to show God’s grace than to give blood for your community?”
When the American Red Cross needed an alternative location to host a community blood drive after regular sites became unavailable due to COVID-19, the Dundalk (Md.) church volunteered to open its doors.
“We were the only place in the area that volunteered to host a drive after a bunch of the regular places that do the drive during the year shut down because of COVID,” says J.T. Pinilla, pastor of the Dundalk church. “I was very excited that our church building could be used to serve the community.”
The church hosted the American Red Cross blood drive on Nov. 30. Dozens of people came to the church to donate blood, impacting nearly 100 lives through their donations. According to Pinilla, it was an excellent opportunity to bring people through the church’s doors.
“You rarely have that many community members coming into the church at once,” Pinilla says. “We learned that people respond when you propose something relevant that serves the community. Some people were already asking when we’re going to do this again so they can come back.”
Pinilla believes events like hosting the blood drive are great seed-sowing opportunities to build relationships with people you might not otherwise reach.
“To do evangelism, you can’t just preach the Word; you have to practice the Word,” Pinilla says. “You practice it by showing love and serving others. What better way to show God’s grace than to give blood for your community?”