Synagogue hosts blood drive in advance of Hurricane Irma

In advance of Hurricane Irma, Temple Beth Orr in Coral Springs partnered with OneBlood to conduct an emergency blood drive on Sept. 6.

At press time, Irma is a powerful Category 5 hurricane that’s threatening South Florida, and both OneBlood and the synagogue feel that the most critical time for blood donations is before any storm hits in order to sustain the blood supply during and immediately after the event.

At the blood drive, which took place at the synagogue, 14 people attempted to donate. Nine units were donated and five people were ineligible due to low iron.

Melissa Kenny, the blood drive’s chair and co-president of the synagogue’s Sisterhood, was impressed people came out to the blood drive despite the preparations they needed to make for the storm.

“There is warmth, kindness and caring at Temple Beth Orr, unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” she said. “There is a movement to the community, and not just to the Temple Beth Orr community, but to the community at large.”

Initially, the synagogue made arrangements with OneBlood in response to Hurricane Harvey.

“The original intent was to help Texas,” Kenny said. “Given how much flooding and destruction they had, they were unable to do their own emergency drive after the hurricane, so the Southeast United States was helping to support the blood supply for Texas. We were doing this blood drive in response to help Texas, but then with Hurricane Irma coming, the intent of the blood drive needed to shift more to a proactive collection in advance of the storm.”

Kenny said that the synagogue and OneBlood are community partners.

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