The Gift of Life

In the 1990s, Pastor Leon Weber gave blood every two months at Red Cross blood drives near his South Carolina home. When the phlebotomist told him that only a few dozen people gave blood each time, he thought, “I could get that many people [to come] just at my own church, even though our church is small.” 

Weber, who pastors Grace Christian Fellowship in Little River, South Carolina, decided to contact the Red Cross about holding a blood drive at the church three times a year. Now, almost 20 years later, they’ve been filling up the drives consistently. 

The Red Cross welcomes walk-ins, so the church has had people come in off the street, which gives church volunteers a chance to chat with them.

“There’s a lot of conversation going on,” Weber says. “We’ve had people come visit the church just because they met somebody, just because they were talking about it. A lot of our people ask, ‘Do you have a home church? If you don’t, come on over and visit with us.’”

For the small church, a blood drive is an easy, no-cost way to give to others, and is perhaps more impactful and life-changing (and life-saving) than any amount of money could be.

“It’s a good cause, a righteous cause,” he says. “[People] feel good when they give blood. People can give money to so many different organizations, but when you give your own blood to something like this, you feel good about it.”

Weber sees a clear link between blood donation and the gospel.

“We preach a message where Jesus Christ died and gave his blood for the sins of mankind,” he says, “and so I’ve said to our people, the least we can do is give our blood to help other people. Our people have just stepped up to the plate.”

Jessica Hanewinckel
Jessica Hanewinckel

Jessica Hanewinckel is an Outreach magazine contributing writer.