On 25th March 2017, Tzu Chi conducted its quarterly blood donation drive at SAFRA Jurong for the first time. On this day, Tzu Chi volunteers arrived before the event to set up the brightly lit and spacious multi-purpose function room, by arranging tables and chairs as well as hanging up posters about Tzu Chi’s work on the display boards.
In the past, the quarterly blood donation drive was held in the Jurong Medical Centre. As the Centre was undergoing renovation recently, Tzu Chi had to source for another site, and the blood donation drive was relocated to SAFRA Jurong, within 10 minutes walking distance from Boon Lay MRT station.
Volunteers stationed themselves in various strategic spots around Boon Lay MRT station distributing flyers about the blood donation drive to passers-by and giving directions to those who wished to donate blood, on how to get to the blood donation venue. To facilitate the movement of people to and from the venue, Tzu Chi also arranged for shuttle bus services for blood donors between SAFRA Jurong and Boon Lay MRT station. Even the afternoon rain could not douse the volunteers’ enthusiasm, and people kept coming forward to support the worthy cause.
Mr Muthu, who is an engineer (picture below), and his wife found out about the blood donation drive through volunteers stationed at the MRT station and responded to their invitation to donate blood. This couple donated blood regularly in India, but wasn’t clear of where to donate blood in Singapore. As Muthu’s wife had not been able to donate blood since arriving in Singapore, both of them felt it was a meaningful activity, and praised the volunteers for their warmth and friendliness. The comfortable blood donation venue also made them feel very at ease. They also took the initiative to ask the volunteers about upcoming blood donation dates, so that they could participate again in future.
Mr Alberto Costa, who hails from Italy (bottom picture, right), volunteered at the registration desk to assist with registering blood donors. He came to know about Tzu Chi after attending a talk at the NUS, and has started to volunteer at the monthly Tzu Chi recycling activities. Although not well-versed in Chinese, he was able to serve joyfully with translation provided by a fellow volunteer.