Community-run blood drive looks to grow its impact

Co-owner of New Beginnings Pilates, Tamerin Jardine, Riverside Shopping Centre manager, Laurie Hugo, MAD blood drive organiser, Gert Van Zyl and Ghorbany Carpets owner, Shervin Ghorbany, show off the posters for the upcoming blood drive on 2 September at the New Beginnings Pilates studio at the Riverside Shopping Centre. Photo: Sarah Koning

 

The Making a Difference (Mad) team from NRG Properties is hosting its next community-driven blood drive at the New Beginnings Pilates studio, Riverside Shopping Centre on 2 September.

The blood drive aims to attract people from the Bryanston Parkrun, which takes place at 8am on a Saturday morning. Organiser of the drive, Gert van Zyl, explained that what began as a once-off, low-budget charitable event has grown and flourished to serve the community and contribute to saving lives.

So far, the team of volunteers has collected just under 100 units of blood but hopes to stack it up to 250 by the end of the year, with two drives remaining.

“When I started the drive, I was criticised for making it a once-off thing, since people can donate four times a year. The drives make such a difference to the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) so I decided to carry on doing it, since we collect between 40 and 50 units of blood at each drive,” said Van Zyl.

The Mad drive has grown to be the biggest community-run drive in Johannesburg and also functions as the nearest place where Bryanston residents are able to donate.

Head of marking at the SANBS, Debbie Foster said, “We need communities to step up and take responsibility for blood stock in South Africa. Community members are greatly benefiting from this drive. Gert is the anchor and we thank him for putting it together. This helps us keep blood stocks up, creates awareness in the community and forms an important aspect of saving lives.”

Donate blood and make a difference

Van Zyl has partnered with the Riverside Shopping Centre, where business owners have donated amazing lucky draw prizes to make the drive even more appealing.

Co-owner of New Beginnings Pilates studio, Tamerin Jardine, said she decided to give up classes for a day and offer the studio as a venue for the good cause.

Van Zyl is encouraging all the previous donors to return and bring along a friend. A DJ has been hired to play at the Bryanston Parkrun and to encourage participants to head across to the shopping centre following their run.

Details: The Mad Drive will run from 9am-1pm on 2 September. For more information, visit the Mad Blood Drive Bryanston Facebook page or contact Gert directly on 084 410 9242.

  AUTHOR
Sarah Koning

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