Do Good

Singaporeans queuing to donate blood – the kind of crowd we want to see

by Gabriel Ong // February 19, 2020, 4:29 pm

Covid blood donation - feat new

Image source: Bloodbank (Alvin Tan, www.facebook.com/mrnickes) and blood bag (medicaldialogues.in)

If you’ve been following the news about the appeals for blood donors lately, then you’ll know that there’s a lot to be positive about.

These calls by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and Singapore Red Cross were made in the wake of the COVID-19 – public anxiety pressured more donors into staying away from visiting blood banks, which in turn caused blood supplies to fall to “critical” levels.

But Singaporeans rallied in response, surging in large numbers into the blood banks across the island. I was so pumped to read about that as this is the kind of crowd we want to see (unlike the ones in supermarkets and minimarts some weeks back)!

According to the latest news, the Singapore Red Cross is still calling for blood donors, “as stock for blood types like A-, B+ and O+ remains low”.

So as long as you have a pulse, definitely think about making a difference for your fellow citizens. Because not all heroes wear capes – some donate blood.

That may sound catchy, but giving blood really can’t be understated as an act of heroism. It really does save lives. In fact, just one bag of blood can save three lives!

Life is in the blood.

The Bible says “the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11 ESV). The context of this passage is that the priests were being given instructions on what they could or could not eat – in this case, eating meat with blood still in it.

“The shed blood of an animal meant its life had been given up in death and thus, in the context of sacrifice, its life had ransomed and cleansed (made atonement for) the life of the sinful human being on behalf it had been slain,” notes the New Bible Commentary

In other words, a life for a life. The act of giving blood reminds me of this verse.

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)

And, what’s more, do you know who spoke those words in John 15:13? It was Jesus Christ – the greatest blood donor of all time. Let me paint us a picture to illustrate why this blood donor is so special.

We were sinners waiting to die by the roadside, the hopeless victims of our own undoing. We would surely have died without a blood infusion.

But Jesus stepped into a filthy blood bank when He didn’t have to. He suffered, shed His blood and died to save a dying people who were cursing and screaming at Him the whole time. 

Because of love, He died for a hopeless people who only deserved death. But He rose to life on the third day, so that when we believe, He saves us from that mess we made at the roadside and places us into His hospital – fully at His expense.

And in these hospitals of His, we slowly recover – curiously looking more and more like the One who saved us as the bandages fall off – until the day comes where it’s time for us to be discharged. 

And then it is Jesus who takes us Home to be with Him, forever and ever.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace…” (Ephesians 1:7)

Long before the HSA and the Red Cross made calls like these, Jesus Christ shed His blood for us when we were in critical condition.

He has led by example, and now we have a chance to emulate it.

Drops of Life 2018: A week before Good Friday, another man gave his blood in my place

So if you’re healthy and haven’t already gone to donate blood – you should!

As long as we have blood pumping through our veins, we are the neighbour of those who need it, from women with pregnancy, to children with severe anaemia, to people with severe trauma following man-made and natural disasters, to people involved in complex medical and surgical procedures as well as cancer patients.

And don’t worry about COVID-19: There’s no proof that the disease is transmitted through blood. Furthermore, the blood banks screen everyone for symptoms and have stepped up sanitisation efforts

Squeeze in some time this week: Call 6220-0183 to find out if you’re eligible to be a donor, or take a 1-minute donor eligibility quiz.

Then in honour of what Jesus did for us, give blood and give Him the glory.

THINK + TALK

  1. Have you ever donated blood? 
  2. Do you know the greatest blood donor of all time?
About the author

Gabriel Ong

Gabriel isn't a hipster, but he loves his beard and coffee. In his spare time, he'd rather be on a mountain.