On 30th June 2017, Tzu Chi Foundation (Singapore) held its quarterly blood donation drive at SAFRA Jurong. Although the event had been relocated from Jurong Medical Centre to SAFRA since March last year, the number of blood donors did not decrease this year.
Tzu Chi volunteer Andy Siew (pictured below) stood near the bus stop next to Boon Lay MRT station, facing the crowd, many of whom were either rushing to work or heading to Malaysia. He smiled warmly, seizing every opportunity to share about the blood donation drive with passers-by.
"I am confident that I will be able to recruit people to donate blood," he said.
Andy got connected with Tzu Chi when he went to Jurong Medical Centre to donate blood three years ago. He finds it fulfilling to be able to give of himself to help others.
“Whenever I join a Tzu Chi event, I find it very fulfilling to be able to help people,” remarked Carmen Yap, who started participating in Tzu Chi activities since January this year.
Yap managed to invite two of her friends to help with promoting the blood donation drive on this day. Although 8 or 9 out of 10 people they approached would reject their invitation, they were not disheartened, and kept an open mind as they volunteered. After their volunteer shift ended, Yap and one of her friends also donated blood.
The waiting area at the blood donation venue started to get crowded at around 3pm, when nearly 20 people arrived successively, which was a challenge to the volunteers helping with registration. Besides keying in basic details of the donors, the volunteers also assisted the Red Cross nurses in making sure that the former met the basic requirements for donating blood.
Volunteer Lee Mun Yee, who was helping with registration, shared that she really cherished the opportunity to volunteer for the event as she usually had to return to her hometown in Malaysia during weekends.
"I gain a lot of positive energy from participating in Tzu Chi activities,” said Lee.
Nanyang Technological University student, Koh Cai Jun (pictured below), came to donate blood almost every quarter for the past three years. His elder sister and younger brother are regular blood donors, too.
“I will confirm the date of the blood donation drive with my mother, because I do not want to miss it,” said Koh.
Koh, who became a vegetarian five years ago, exercises regularly. He has been able to donate blood successfully on every occasion.
It was the second time Norlizah, a member of the public, came to donate blood at SAFRA. She has a friend who suffers from kidney failure, and this prompted her to help other patients through blood donation. She registered herself as a Tzu Chi donating member on this day, after expressing her interest in volunteering with the organisation.
The crowd dispersed at around 6pm, bringing the blood donation drive to a fruitful close, with a total collection of 71 packets of blood.