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St. Paul’s Episcopal Church has a heart for blood drives

Brad and Jennifer Farmer have been donating blood since they were in high school, and on Sunday, June 27 the Farmers coordinated a blood drive that was held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where they are congregation members. 

According to Brad and Jennifer Farmer, the first blood drive at St. Thomas was held a week after Christmas in 2019.

During that first drive, the church only anticipated roughly eight donors to show up and donate blood at the One Blood bus – instead, the drive finished with a total of 16 donors, almost doubling expectations.

“We consistently had people donate because the donation center in Tallahassee is still kind of far from Gadsden County,” Jennifer Farmer said. “I think people like to come into their own neighborhood and donate.”

Jennifer (left) and Brad (right) Farmer partnered with One Blood to host the blood drive. According to Brad, this event and similar blood drives were organized in honor of a high school friend who died from blood cancer. 

During the June 27 donation drive, there were 17 donors who altogether contributed roughly two gallons of blood, making this the church’s largest donor participation and volume collection to date.

Thomas Young, 71 of Havana, was one of the donors who visited the One Blood bus on June 27, and Young says he has donated blood several times over the past five years.

“It’s the right thing to do. One person can help three or four other people then it’s the right thing to do,” Young said. 

Young believes more donors means fewer blood shortages.

“If everyone would do it we wouldn’t have a shortage,” Young said.

By the end of 2021, Brad Farmer says he will have made 56 donations, totaling over eight gallons of blood. 

The One Blood bus is a recognizable sight for many blood donors. Recently, the bus was parked at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Quincy, where it partnered with members of the church for a blood drive that had 17 donors and collected roughly two gallons of life-saving blood.

“My best friend passed away of blood cancer my senior year of high school. Starting my freshman year in college, whenever there was a donation, I went in memory of him,” Farmer said. “We’re just trying to turn tragedy into something good.”

This is the fourth drive the Farmers have organized with One Blood.

They set the date of the drive so donors can return to the same location when it is time for their next eligible donation date, as blood donors must wait eight weeks in between blood donations.

The next blood drive will be held on August 29 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, which is located at 10 West King Street in Quincy.

To find more information about donating blood or to host a blood drive visit

Thomas Young, of Havana, has been donating blood for several years.

Breanna Rittman –
Photos by Breanna Rittman