Blood Drives in the Dominican Republic, Australia, and Zimbabwe with concern for the lives of neighbors

The blood drives of the Intl. WeLoveU Foundation halted for a while due to the concern about the spread of coronavirus. With the start of 2021, however, blood drives were conducted again in the U.S. partly thanks to increased vaccination rates, but mainly because the number of patients who failed to receive blood transfusions on time, increased due to insufficient supply of blood in each country in the past one year. The Intl. WeLoveU Foundation re-started blood drives in order to help with blood supply shortage which is arising as a social problem. For the same reason, blood drives were urgently carried out in the Dominican Republic, Australia, and Zimbabwe as well.

On February 21, the Intl. WeLoveU Foundation Chapter in the Dominican Republic held a blood drive at Dr. Heriberto Pieter Oncological Institute, a cancer hospital in Oeste, Santo Domingo. Their aim was to help with supplying blood to blood banks in each region and deliver hope to neighbors whose lives were in jeopardy.

When the appointed time came, 115 WeLoveU members with yellowish green T-shirts and face masks on from Santo Domingo, Santiago, Moca, and La Vega gathered at the hospital. Some of them arrived at the venue early in the morning, decorated the event hall with balloons and blood donation characters, and informed people who visited the hospital about the importance of donating blood. Adhering to COVID-19 guidelines from the government, the members also strictly maintained social distancing. That day, 110 members hoped to donate blood, but only 70 could do because that was the maximum amount the hospital could keep.

Director of Research Institute in Oncology Rafael Jimenez said, “I was pretty surprised to see the WeLoveU members coming to the hospital to donate blood. Actually, our hospital requires much more blood than other hospitals, and so we rely on help from blood banks. Today, the WeLoveU’s support was indeed of great help to our hospital.” He greatly complimented the young adult members from the WeLoveU on voluntarily participating in non-remunerated blood donation, saying, “They are setting a very good example for our society.” After the blood donation, he delivered a certificate of appreciation to the WeLoveU.

On March 7, the WeLoveU conducted a blood drive at Australian Red Cross Brisbane Donor Centre in Queensland. Twenty-three WeLoveU members from Brisbane and Gold Coast participated in the event, and 16 of them successfully donated blood. That day, the Head of Australian Red Cross delivered a certificate of appreciation to Honorary Chairwoman Zahng Gil-jah and the WeLoveU, saying, “They have brought about significant changes in saving lives through the blood donation.”

The last round of blood donation in the first half of the year was conducted in Zimbabwe. On June 27, the Zimbabwean members of the Intl. WeLoveU Foundation stood in a long line at the entrance of Zimbabwe Red Cross Society in Harare in order to attend the blood drive. After having their body temperatures checked, they wished a successful blood drive, shouting, “Wah, we love you!” and making heart shapes with their fingers while maintaining social distancing.

When the nurses began collecting blood, the supporting team members encouraged the blood donors with paper panels where “Animo” was written. The blood donors and the supporters were like-minded in saving lives. That day, 33 members from the WeLoveU Chapter in Harare, Zimbabwe, successfully donated blood.

It is not easy to give a helping hand to neighbors especially in this age when everyone is going through hard times. However, that is when we need to share love with one another the most. The WeLoveU members eagerly hope their little efforts will miraculously save lives of many patients.