News Release

American Red Cross Recognizes Latter-day Saint Blood Donations

More than 1.1 million units collected in Church-sponsored drives

Latter-day Saints are being recognized by the American Red Cross for saving lives through blood donation. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has collaborated with the Red Cross since the Church’s first blood drive was held in April 1996.

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“For almost 30 years, members of the Church community have generously donated lifesaving blood — collecting 1.1 million units through almost 37,000 drives,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross.

“This is just phenomenal, and I don’t think there is another organization that has saved more lives through blood donation. We are so grateful for this deeply meaningful and long-standing partnership with the Church — and your members — who show a steadfast commitment to service,” said McGovern.

The Church is the largest single Red Cross blood drive collaborator, helping attract thousands of volunteer blood donors annually in blood drives nationwide.

Relief Society General President Camille N. Johnson and other Church leaders supported a blood drive for employees in the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Wednesday, June 13, 2023.

“As disciples of Jesus Christ, participating in a blood drive is a heartwarming way we can reach out to offer relief to others,” said President Johnson, who volunteered at the event.

“It’s an opportunity for our members and our friends to all come together and bless the lives of our Heavenly Father’s children,” President Johnson said. “This is one way in which we provide His relief to others to care for those in need.”

The global leader of the Church’s women’s organization was joined at the blood drive by her counselor, Sister Kristin M. Yee, and Sister Michelle D. Craig of the Young Women General Presidency.

“I'm grateful that the Church allows employees to do this,” said Jeff Isom, managing director of the Church’s Publishing Services Department. “I've done I've been doing this for a lot of years, and I just enjoy the opportunity to sort of give to the community a little bit, help people in need.”

Isom was one of about 200 Church employees and leaders who donated blood this week in the two-day drive on Temple Square.

Brigham Young University–Hawaii President John S.K. Kauwe III was in Salt Lake City on Wednesday for meetings and took some time out of his busy schedule to donate blood.

“It’s always important to get involved in this type of service when you’re healthy and your body is strong to take the opportunity to support others that need your physical strength,” said President Kauwe. “It’s an amazing thing that modern medicine allows us to do and so I felt it was important to make the time.”

Jeremiah Lafranca, executive director of the Salt Lake City Chapter of the Red Cross, attends a blood drive at the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Wednesday, June 14, 2023. 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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“When you break that down, one unit of blood can save up to three lives, so it's such an incredible relationship,” said Jeremiah Lafranca, executive director of the Salt Lake City Chapter of the Red Cross, who attended the blood drive at the Church Office Building.

“It’s just an incredible feeling after you're able to donate and it's knowing that you’re impacting lives,” Lafranca added. “We don't disclose whom the blood is going to … for privacy reasons. But it’s such an impact and it’s such a meaningful act of service.”

In April, the Church of Jesus Christ announced a donation of U.S. $8.7 million to assist the Red Cross with the purchase of biomedical equipment, mobile blood donation centers, and programs to help those with cancer or sickle cell disease. The Church also collaborated with the organization to provide increased outreach and improve blood collection operations in 2022.

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