WEST LIBERTY – Community Blood Center counts its blessings this holiday season by counting down 12 “Hometown Heroes” for each day of the “12 Days of Christmas Blood Drive.” Today we honor Quest Community Church and Pastor Bill Walker.
They began the “12 Days of Christmas Hometown Heroes” tribute in the 2020 holiday season, after the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. A year later, they need heroes more than ever.
All CBC partners have helped avert a blood shortage in 2021 by sponsoring blood drives. There are many Hometown Heroes, and the 12 we honor humbly represent them all.
Quest Community Church feels like home with the log walls and stone fireplaces on its welcoming rustic campus. Pastor Bill Walker opens the doors wide to West Liberty neighbors in need, and regularly sets up the big sign by busy US 68 to let everyone know when a blood drive is under way.
“We just put it on our sign,” said Pastor Bill Walker. “This is a high traffic road, so a lot of people see it.”
Quest has been rolling out the sign for Community Blood Center blood drives since 2020, when the arrival of COVID-19 made it impossible to continue blood drives at the nearby senior care facility.
“Quest Community stepped up in 2020 when we were not able to go to Green Hills Community,” said CBC account manager Nicole Thruston. “After holding a couple, they decided they wanted to continue hosting the blood drive every eight weeks.”
The quaint Quest log cabin on campus became the home for whole blood, platelet, plasma and double-red cell donations.
“Their drives have continued to grow each time they host,” said Nicole. “They fill all their appointment slots every blood drive.”
“We said we’d like to do this, and it was no problem at all,” said Pastor Walker. “We also knew that you guys had your safeguards in place. We just open our doors. It’s easy for us, we love the building being used.”
He credits administrative assistant April Jenkins for coordinating the blood drives.
“She is the one with boots on the ground,” he said. “She’s amazing.”
Being a warm light in the darkness is part of Quest’s mission.
“You need to have blood – even if it was risky, people need blood to live,” said Pastor Walker. “We cancelled things in our church, but you really don’t have a choice. It’s something that is needed. I don’t know how many of our people give, but a lot of them do. So, we put it in our bulletin and online.”
“They promote it on their church Facebook page,” said Nicole. “Quest Community Church is a wonderful sponsor that knows the importance of the blood supply demands and wants to make sure they do their part to help.”
Blood donation requirements: Donors are required to provide a photo ID that includes their full name. Past CBC donors are also asked to bring their CBC donor ID card. Donors must be at least 17 years of age (16 years old with parental consent: form available at www.givingblood.org or at CBC branch & blood drive locations), weigh a minimum of 110 pounds (you may have to weigh more, depending on your height), and be in good physical health. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changes blood donor eligibility guidelines periodically. Individuals with eligibility questions are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org. Make an appointment at www.DonorTime.com or call (937) 461-3220.
Info from Mark Pompilio