Because We Are Catholic: Giving Blood is The Gift of Life to Our Community

John Fitzpatrick

By PAUL WIRTH Diocesan Communications Staff

Blood donors save lives, and the people at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Orefield were honored recently for their life-saving blood donation efforts.

The coordinator of the blood drives at the parish is John Fitzpatrick. “Blood is the most precious gift anyone can give,” he says. “One pint can save multiple lives.”

By that measure, donors at St. Joseph the Worker have saved 3,400 lives through their donations at regular blood drives run by Miller-Keystone Blood Center.

Fitzpatrick would like to see other parishes organize blood drives too. “It’s an easy service project to do, and it can have a big impact,” he says.

Miller-Keystone provides blood to every hospital in the five counties of the Diocese, and all blood donations are used locally. The center can collect blood in a parish hall, or will bring a bus-like blood collection vehicle when necessary. Parish organizers need only provide the space and encourage donors.

Fitzpatrick has donated 50 gallons of blood over the years. That’s 400 pints. He’s not the parish’s biggest donor, though. That title goes to parishioner Ron Paff of Allentown, who has donated 113 gallons, and counting.

“Because We Are Catholic” tells the stories of how the people of the Diocese of Allentown make a difference in the lives of others, bringing the Light of Christ to each other and to our community.