St. Alphonsus has been awarded the “Most Blood Donated by a Catholic Church” for the past seven years by Our Lady of the Lake Blood Services. That is a huge accomplishment. In 2017 the people of St. Alphonsus donated 303 units of blood! To put it in perspective, most churches in the Diocese average about 100 units per year.
Because of the generosity of the people of St. Alphonsus, any parishioner needing blood can have their blood needs covered by the church. If you or someone in your family needs blood, call the parish nurse and the blood will be credited to your account at the hospital. Let the parish nurse know the name, date of birth, hospital (any hospital) and the amount of blood or blood products received.
Our quarterly blood drives are part of our Knights of Columbus Council, and they do an excellent job monitoring the blood drives. The Knights also offer a free lunch to each donor and sell plate lunches for the rest of the family. Our blood drives for 2018 are: February 18th, May 6th, August 5th, and November 18th. All drives are held in the St. Francis Room.
The last weekend in January is “Blood Donor Weekend” where we recognize our donors from the previous year and have a special blessing at all Masses.
Blood Donation Requirements
Many people find reasons that they cannot donate. Some are legitimate and some are not. Below is a list of donor qualifications:
- Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds and be 17 years of age. There is no upper age limit as long as you are feeling healthy and well.
- Donors must be free from colds, flu and infections at the time of donations. A person can donate 24 hours after the last dose of antibiotics.
- Diabetics can donate even if on insulin and are well controlled. Those using bovine insulin are deferred from giving. Oral medicine is accepted.
- Minor dental procedures—cleaning/fillings can donate after 24 hours. Tooth extractions, root canals or oral surgery are deferred usually for 72 hours.
- Most over the counter mediations are acceptable. Blood pressure medications, hormones, antidepressants, tranquilizers, diet pills are NOT a cause for deferral.
- Donors with a history of internal cancers must wait 5 years after successful treatment/excision. Those with a history of melanoma cannot give again ever. Basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers are acceptable if excised and healed.
- Donors with a history of hepatitis after age 10 are not ever allowed to donate.
- Donors receiving blood/blood products within the last 12 months cannot give.
- Tattoos are allowed if done at a licensed facility after one week.
- Those receiving piercings using sterile technique and single use equipment can donate immediately.
Very few people are actually ineligible to give due to health reasons. Check with the parish nurse if you need more information.
Blood Donors Prayer
I gave my Blood, Christ gave his.
I gave a pint; He gave his all.
The needle is small, sharp; the nails were large, dull.
The table soft, restful;
the cross rough, painful.
The nurses kind and gentle;
the soldiers cruel, mean.
The crowd applauds my sacrifice; They that passed by reviled Him.
Mine is O positive; His for positively all.
Mine, at best, will prolong a life for a while; His without doubt, can
Save all forever.