March is Red Cross Month, a month dedicated to recognizing blood donors, volunteers and blood drive partners. For the past two years, St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church, 16808 Holmes Road, Belton, has been one of these partners. They are helping save lives by supporting the collection of this precious gift of blood donations.
This ministry has been fostered by Fr. Evan Ash who himself is what he calls, a “career blood donor.” He is currently working on his eighth gallon! “I’ve given more blood than my body contains,” he jokes.
Fr. Ash began giving blood in 1985 when he served as a chaplain in Omaha, NE. He says he began appreciating its importance while helping a patient with leukemia who needed a bone marrow transplant. “The blood we donate is always needed,” he said. “It’s kind of like a low-cost way of donating.”
“It’s also a way of showing the love we’ve been given by God,” he says. “He’s made our bodies’ ability to do this: One body can help another body.”
“Faith is all about saving lives,” he says. “It’s a different way that faith can be a life-saving experience. Not just for yourself.”
Fr. Ash says he enjoys the camaraderie with the Red Cross staff he has been glad to meet along the way. He works with Vicky Anderson, RN, the congregation’s Parish Nurse, to organize each drive. The drives are held every two months.
On Thursday, March 1st, from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., Red Cross staff will once again be present at St. Mary Magdalene’s for its tenth blood donation drive, helping the Red Cross fulfill its life-saving mission.