Putting their faiths in joint blood donation drive

Mr Vamsi Krishna, 21, and student Bowen Ong (in yellow), 18, were among about 200 people who donated blood at the event held jointly by Heart of God Church, Khalid Mosque, Geylang United Temple and Nanyang Leow-Sih Association yesterday.
Mr Vamsi Krishna, 21, and student Bowen Ong (in yellow), 18, were among about 200 people who donated blood at the event held jointly by Heart of God Church, Khalid Mosque, Geylang United Temple and Nanyang Leow-Sih Association yesterday.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

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 yesterday.

Heart of God Church pastor Garrett Lee noted that the joint blood donation drive 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 of the different religions and nearby residential estates donated blood at the event at Heart of God Church in Eunos.

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

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

Khalid Mosque chairman Alla'udin Mohamed 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 residents, donate blood annually.

 

Senior Minister of State for Health and Law Edwin Tong, speaking to reporters, said while the number of blood donors has been "creeping up" over the years, more donors were needed for the long term.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2019, with the headline 'Putting their faiths in joint blood donation drive'. Print Edition | Subscribe