12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS, 12 HOMETOWN HEROES
We count our blessings this holiday season by counting 12 heroes. During the “12 Days of Christmas Blood Drive” Community Blood Center is honoring 12 “Hometown Heroes” who have defended the region’s blood supply during the dark days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
DAY 11 – HOMETOWN HEROES: ‘THE BLOOD DRIVE CHURCH’ GREENVILLE CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN
The Greenville Church of the Brethren is not just a Hometown Hero of the pandemic, it is a CBC home base. Long before the coronavirus reached our shores the Church of the Brethren had gained the reputation as “the Blood Drive Church” because of its monthly schedule of blood drives.
Month after month, year after year, sponsors from Greenville civic groups, businesses and charitable organizations recruit donors for their blood drives. All are easily familiar with the central location of the Greenville Church of the Brethren.
CBC account representative Dana Puterbaugh has praise for all her blood drive sponsors, volunteers and donors, especially in the challenging time of COVID-19. She gives special “Hometown Hero” thanks and recognition to the Greenville Church of the Brethren and Pastor Ron Sherck.
“There is a very long-standing relationship between you folks and our congregation,” said Pastor Ron Sherck.
“I will be here at this church almost 18 years. I remember when I first came, the blood drive was here four or five times a year. As the years progressed Dana would approach us and say we need another location, could you guys host us for an additional month? We ended up hosting 12 months and we were fine with that. It’s a very good positive relationship with you folks, working with Dana the whole time.”
“When we came to the time when the pandemic was making changes to the blood drive schedule and how you were functioning and operating, we kind of collaborated together and said, ‘Let’s try to make this work.’”
“It was a proactive effort to say, ‘We’re willing to do this, this, and this to make this work.’ We as a church have measures, we’re putting in place as well, that we think will work.”
Pastor Sherck recognized the church-wide support for the blood drives, beginning with the church leadership and including custodian Curt Zerkel, who he called “the front line person who preps everything and is always here the day of the drive.”
“The deacons and elders of church are the ones that have to make the decision, ‘Do we make this happen?’” said Pastor Ron. “They were all on board and very supportive. All I can say is thumbs up. We feel good about it. The groups that have been using the facility as sponsors of the blood drives I know feel good about their relationships with CBC.
“There have been adjustments, like start times,” he said. “Dana has asked for an additional date to do a COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma drive. That’s coming up in January. We said sure. Our leaders thought it was a great way to help the community, especially those feeling the effects of the virus.”
“It creates a centralized, regular connection with the community. They know where it’s going to be held. We’re glad we can enable you to keep doing what you are doing. We recognize the great value of that for the community.”
“When I’m around town and someone asks what I do, and I say I’m the pastor of the Church of the Brethren, they may say, ‘Where is that?’ When I say it’s the church on Central Avenue they almost immediately say, “Oh! Where the blood drive is held!”
“So, we’re ‘the Blood Drive Church,’ and I’m the pastor of the ‘Blood Drive Church.’”
CBC is encouraging donations during the “12 Days of Christmas” blood drive now through Saturday, Dec. 26 at the Dayton CBC. Everyone who registers to donate at the Dayton CBC will receive a Kroger $10 gift card in addition to “Holiday Hero” face mask and “Hometown Hero” t-shirt. Donors must make an appointment at www.DonorTime.com or by calling (937) 461-3220.