27th Annual Holiday Blood Drive

Top Pick December 22, 2016 Sharon Free
(Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Crackle)
(Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Crackle)

Temple Sinai of Sharon will hold its 27th annual holiday blood drive in partnership with the American Red Cross.

“Temple Sinai is pleased to host the drive each year, as we see it as a sacred obligation to help others—Judaism has a strong tradition of anonymous giving,” said one blood drive organizer. “And, every donation helps multiple recipients.”

This holiday drive’s central location—at 25 Canton St., Sharon, right off North Main Street—and ample parking make the process of donating blood both convenient and easy.

Donors can register for a time slot and complete the prescreening online at redcrossblood.org, using the code Temple Sinai, to save time on the day of the drive, or call 800-REDCROSS. Walk-ins also are welcome, as are first-time donors. Volunteers will guide donors seamlessly through the process.

Every donor will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt as a thank you gift.

“There’s a great feeling of community coming together at the blood drive,” said one volunteer. “While some donors are connected to Temple Sinai, most are not. For some, it’s their first time inside the building—or ever entering a synagogue. We’re glad to be able to welcome them.”

Former Temple President Dana Bottorff organized the first holiday blood drive in 1990, when she was looking for a high-profile project to revive the temple’s dormant social action program. The plan was to hold a blood drive in January, but the Red Cross asked if the temple would consider holding the drive on December 24—Christmas Eve.

According to the Red Cross, blood supplies fall to low levels in December because fewer organizations hold drives during the holiday season, and the need for blood rises due to winter traffic accidents. The Red Cross often experiences a critical blood shortage in the days leading up to Christmas and immediately after, as whole blood has a short shelf life.

The temple board weighed the idea of holding a Christmas Eve blood drive and whether it could be perceived as disrespectful to the Christian community. The temple’s rabbi at the time passionately urged the group to hold it as an expression of the value Judaism places on human life.

“We held the drive on December 24, and were so overrun with donors that the Red Cross staff had to stay several hours after the drive officially ended to accommodate all of them (about 75 people),” said Bottorff. “Donors of all faiths thanked us for giving them a meaningful way to help the community at Christmas. Many families with grown children came and donated together. The mood was joyful and celebratory all day.”

This year’s challenge is that December 24, when many adults have the day off and can attend, falls on a Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, which resulted in moving the annual tradition to Thursday, December 22.

Rosette Becker, co-chair of this year’s drive, said, “Having developed diagnostic tests in my professional life, I have always liked the hospital environment, so co-running the blood drive is a perfect place for me to volunteer. I also have been on the receiving end of both blood and platelet transfusions and am so grateful for the donors who have saved my life.”

For Bottorff, this volunteer experience is spiritual: “As a convert to Judaism, the temple’s holiday blood drive filled a personal need to do something meaningful at Christmas. It became my new way of celebrating a holiday that had meant so much to me for many years.”

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Fact Sheet
Thursday, December 22, 2016, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Temple Sinai of Sharon
25 Canton St
Sharon, MA 02067

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