Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury held one of its biggest and most successful blood donor sessions to date. The session saw 130 units collected, bringing the total units collected by the Mandir to 1,442. 13 of the donors gave blood for the first time. Acharya Swamishree Maharaj gave darshan to the donors during the session - this was the first such session in London held in His presence.
NHSBT presented Acharya Swamishree Maharaj with an award in recognition of his tireless efforts for inspiring blood donation campaigns and sessions around the world. Our Mandir in Nairobi also took part in World Blood Donor Day, collecting 133 units during their session. New Jersey will be holding a session during their Patotsav celebrations in a few weeks’ time.
Our own session on Sunday 14 June was the climax to National Blood Week, during which the National Health Service ran a campaign called Missing Types to highlight a national donor shortage. There are 40% fewer new blood donors in 2014 than 2004 and there is a need for 200,000 donors each year just to maintain supply. The Mayor of Brent launched the campaign at the Mandir on Friday 5 June, and we have been urging the community to donate in the lead up to World Blood Donor Day. We had 6000 flyers delivered to local homes and ran an energetic social media campaign. And of course, Acharya Swamishree Maharaj Himself inspired and encouraged us all to donate. The 130 units we collected could help save nearly 400 lives.
Amit Ghelani spoke to the Mandir community of his gratitude at the anonymous gift of life he receives every three weeks when he receives blood transfusions for the treatment of thalassemia.
“After a transfusion, I feel the positivity of those donors flowing through me, never knowing who they are. Donating that blood is such a wonderfully positive gesture on their part, and I have that energy flowing through my veins, keeping me alive and well.”
The blood donor session held on Sunday, and the wider campaign to give blood, is the result of Acharya Swamishree Maharaj’s continued inspiration . He has campaigned all over the world for people to donate blood and sign up to organ donor registers as part of one’s duty of selfless giving. He has not only dispelled myths and taboos about donating blood and organs amongst the Hindu community, but has explained that it is one’s obligation to do so if you can. As part of the Acharya Swamishree Maharaj inspired blood donation drive, the Mandir community regularly holds blood donation sessions .
Our next session takes place on Sunday 15 November. Please sign up at www.blood.co.uk (search for sessions in NW9 in the “find a venue” section) so we can continue to grow our session.