Blood mobile sets up shop at annual conference

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Blood mobile sets up shop at annual conference

May 27, 2006    News media contact: Tita Parham* 
800-282-8011    Orlando {0494}

NOTE: This is one of a series of articles about news related to the “Witness With Power” 2006 Florida Annual Conference Event June 1-3 in Lakeland.

An e-Review Feature
By J.A. Buchholz**

The Rev. Virginia (Ginny) Pearcy knows the importance of donating blood.

Years ago Pearcy was ill with a condition that caused her to require two units of blood every five to six weeks. Eventually she had restorative surgery, but until that time, blood donated by strangers kept her alive and sustained her quality of life.

“I would feel bad, and then I would go and receive the blood and be able to go back to work,” she said. “People would ask me what I was doing back, but with the blood, I felt a lot better, so I know firsthand the value of donating blood.”

That was 1986. Twenty years later as the Florida Conference’s parish nurse coordinator and chairwoman of the Health and Wholeness Focused Task Team, Pearcy is urging church members and delegates to donate blood any time between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. June 2 at the “Witness With Power” 2006 Florida Annual Conference Event in Lakeland. The BloodNet Blood Mobile will be stationed at the gathering, and each registered donor will receive a free T-shirt.

Pearcy says donating blood is a mission opportunity for annual conference attendees. “We have a scriptural call to reach out and help others. Donating blood is like that,” she said. “Stretch out your arm for someone else — that’s servant evangelism. This is a great way to serve.”

LAKELAND — The Florida Conference's Health and Wholeness ministry is asking delegates attending the "Witness With Power" 2006 Florida Annual Conference Event in Lakeland to donate blood June 2 when the blood mobile will be stationed at the Lakeland Center. Photo courtesy of BloodNet USA, Photo #06-364.

Hyde Park United Methodist Church member Charley Sims also views donating blood as a mission opportunity. He coordinates the Tampa church’s blood drive every 58 days. The church has been operating on-site blood donations through a blood mobile for at least 10 years, Sims said, adding the average number of donors fluctuates between 25 and 35 and once reached 50.

“I view this as my contribution of time and talent to the church,” he said.

Sims was disqualified from giving blood after he reached the 15-gallon mark three or four years ago.

“I can’t donate any longer, but I see this as a ministry,” he said. “It’s just the thought that giving a little bit of time can save multiple lives makes me see this as a priority.”

One unit donated at the annual conference event can be viewed as a success, Pearcy said. “Numbers aren’t the most important thing. One unit of blood can go a long way.”

The entire conference event will be web cast live through the Internet for those who are not able to attend. Individuals who would like to log onto the webcast at any time during the annual gathering may do so by going to the Florida Conference Web site at and following the instructions listed there. Details about the gathering are also posted on the site and accessible by clicking on the event graphic posted on the right-hand side of the home page.

This article relates to Health and Wholeness and “Witness With Power” 2006 Florida Annual Conference Event.

*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Buchholz is a staff writer for e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.

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