Through the “Love Sharing Event” that cooled down the heat of the summer,

Gwangju Branch of the Intl. WeLoveU Foundation held “The 2nd Blood Drive” in the hall of the Gwangju-Jeongnam of Korea Red Cross on August 19, following the 1st blood drive on February this year.

Considering the geographical size of Gwangju and Jeonnam areas, its population is small; and the rate of the aged is rather higher than other regions. For this reason, it has been very difficult to receive enough blood donation. Since the donated blood is used within 15 days, they need blood donation from about 400 people every day. However, as the vacation began, less students have donated their blood. In case of the Rh- blood, it is harder to get donation; sometimes when needed, they have to search this blood from throughout the country. Having heard this, over 600 WeLoveU members volunteered to donate blood despite hot weather.

The donation was planned to start from 10 a.m., but as many members with jobs arrived at the hall from 9 o’clock to donate their blood before going to work, the event began a little earlier. In the hall about 15 beds were prepared, and the medical team was busy getting ready to collect blood. The members filled out medical charts, and were checked whether or not their blood was proper to be donated in pulse rate, body temperature, hemoglobin, etc.

After 10 a.m., numerous members gathered with bright faces and filled the hall. O Jahng-hyeon, the Head of Gwangju-Jeongnam Blood Center of Korea Red Cross, told his sad experience when a surgery of a patient, who needed an organ transplant, had to be postponed due to lack of blood last year. He encouraged the members and thanked them, saying, “I was very moved to see the WeLoveU members voluntarily attending the blood drive from early in the morning, and even donating the sheets of blood donation certificates even though they can use them for themselves.” He added, “Today, so many members donated their blood. It will be a great help for us to supply patients with blood. And we were also able to get various types of blood. It was an effective event to let people know the importance of blood donation and to lead them to attend blood drives.” Speaking highly of the blood drive, Doctor O hoped that this event would be a great opportunity to lead more people and organizations to the participation of blood donation.

The blood drive, held to share love with neighbors, was proceeded in good order and in a friendly atmosphere like a happy festival. Many members shared their feeling and joy with one another. Among the members, there was Park Jeong-rye (39 years old, Sochon-dong, Gwangsan-gu) who had donated blood 100 times, and there were also members who were somewhat scared at first but bravely took part in the blood drive for the first time. Many members with jobs asked their company to let them go, and came to donate their blood and said, “Wouldn’t you leave your work and go to see your family if they are sick?”

A member Cho Sahm-hyeon (51 years old, Sangchon-dong, Seo-gu), who works at the Traffic Section of the Gwangju Police Department, showed his wish that more people would attend the blood donation, saying, “When I go to the scenes of car accidents, I often see emergency situations where people bleed too much. Donating my blood, I felt like I was saving a life. I’m very happy.”

A member Im Mi-yeong (34 years old) took a bus for more than an hour from Hwasun to come to the event. She said that she had been donating regularly with her husband at the thought that the blood donation is the minimum contribute that gives sick patients a message not to give up. A female member said, “My mother died of cancer, but I couldn’t give her my blood because my blood type was different from hers. I was very sad. After mother died, I came to donate blood to help even other people.” A high school student member said, “I’ve seen my mother often participating in voluntary services as a WeLoveU member. This time, I, too, participated in this blood donation. It felt like I was sharing love with somebody. I wish there will be nobody who dies because of the lack of love and blood.”

This day, among the members who attended the event, 264 members passed the checkups and donated their blood. The medical members of the Korea Red Cross, who helped the checkups and blood donations, were all happy to have collected large amount of blood which can save many patients. They said, “We were very moved to see the members voluntarily participating in the blood donation and being thankful for the fact that they were able to share their blood with others.”

The next day, on the 20th, 300 sheets of blood donation certificates, including the ones that the members brought, were donated to the Cancer Center of Hwasoon Jeonnam University Hospital. These sheets of blood donation certificates are going to be used for poor patients who need help.

Jeong Gwan-taek, the Head of Intl. WeLoveU Foundation Gwangju Branch emphasized that the blood donation does not simply give blood, but give love to save precious lives. He said, “Our ‘Love Share Love Movement’ will become bigger as a member leads another one to the blood drive that saves dying people.” The blood drive, held by the Intl. WeLoveU Foundation since 2004, is delivering love and life to more and more people every year.