Dan Kirkpatrick

Chaplain Dan: Being the Hands and Feet of Jesus Through Blood Donations

Jul 20 2022

Dan Kirkpatrick, a chaplain and manager of spiritual care at Bon Secours St. Francis, supervises a wonderful group of chaplains. His team provides their services at both St. Francis Downtown and St. Francis Eastside, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We follow in the footsteps of the Sisters who have dedicated their lives to the healing ministry of Jesus,” Dan shares. “The spiritual and emotional care of our patients and their families from all religious backgrounds is at the forefront of our ministry. We also offer support to team members throughout our health system.”

When Dan is not focused on administrative responsibilities, he visits with patients and their family members. He also talks with fellow employees and gives back in the community.

“That’s what grounds me,” he simply says.

Right now, our country is experiencing one of its largest blood shortages in more than a decade. Dan has been kind enough to share his experience as a regular blood donor and how he finds it to be a great way to give back to others.

Read Dan’s firsthand blood donation thoughts below.

“My first experience of donating blood was in high school. Both my mom and I went together to donate that first time when our church was having a blood drive. Donating blood helped me overcome my anxiety about needles at a young age.

I continued to donate blood throughout college, during seminary and for a number of years early in my ministry. At one time, I was even keeping track of the number of gallons I had donated! There were a few years when I missed donating. However, I started donating again several years ago because of the convenience the mobile donor bus offers at the hospital.

Donating blood is a simple way to help others. And if I’m being honest, I also look forward to the free cookies and sodas after donating.

But on a serious note, I know firsthand that blood donations make a profound difference for those who need blood or other blood products. In my 30-plus years of serving in specialized ministry as a health care chaplain, I have witnessed the importance of blood for saving lives.

My father-in-law received blood products multiple times throughout his treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Over the past several years, I’ve had family members and close friends who received blood transfusions while they were hospitalized for COVID-19. I know that those blood products made a huge difference.

If you have never had the experience of donating blood, and if you are able, I encourage you to give it a try. Go with a friend, a coworker or a family member if you have some anxiety. The relatively brief time you commit to donating blood is worth it.

To me, ‘being the hands and feet of Jesus’ means transforming our faith into action. By giving blood, we offer something precious, life-giving, life-saving, to those who are in need of our good help!”

If you live near Greenville, S.C., you can donate at a local blood drive to support people living in your community. Find a Blood Connection donation event happening near you today.

Also, learn about 10 daily activities that take longer than donating blood.

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