Church, mosque, temple and clan association organise joint blood donation drive

Joining hands across religious and racial boundaries, Heart of God Church, Khalid Mosque and Geylang United Temple partnered Nanyang Leow-Sih Association to organise a blood donation drive on Sunday (Nov 10).

Heart of God Church pastor Garrett Lee noted that the joint blood donation drive, the first of its kind, was a platform for people of different faiths to come together and discover what they have in common.

"No matter what race, religion or age we are, we all bleed the same red," he added.

About 200 donors across the different religions and from nearby residential estates donated blood at the event held at Heart of God Church in Eunos.

Mr Danny Leow, board member of Nanyang Leow-Sih Association, said the donation drive was a good opportunity to let younger Singaporeans understand what clan associations do, and how they played a part in Singapore's earlier years of nation-building.

"In Chinese, we say yin shui si yuan. We should know where we come from, and respect and appreciate it. If you have the feeling of gratitude, you would want to give back to the society," he added, referring to the phrase which means "when you drink water, think of its source".

This is the third year in a row the three religious organisations are holding a joint blood donation drive. This year's initiative is also supported by four Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circles in Geylang Serai, Braddell Heights, Kembangan-Chai Chee and Joo Chiat, together with two clans, the Chan Khoo Clan Association and Huang Clan Association.

Haji Alla'udin Mohamed, chairman of Khalid Mosque, said: "It is a very noble gesture to part with something very dear to your heart and life, donating blood to assist others in their hour of need."

According to figures from Singapore Red Cross last year, only around 73,500 donors, or 1.8 per cent of Singapore's residents, donate blood annually.

Senior Minister of State for Law and for Health Edwin Tong, speaking to reporters at the event, said that while the number of donors has been "creeping up" over the years, there is still a need for more blood donors for the long term.

"In the situation where we might have an adverse event in Singapore, that's when the blood banks will be really under pressure. So we need to build up this reserve," he added.