The biggest gift one can give is the gift of life. This sentiment has driven members of the World Mission Society Church of God to organize and host more than 600 blood drives worldwide. And Miami, too, received the gift of life through the 607th Worldwide Blood Drive hosted on April 10, 2016, at Tropical Park.

More than 100 volunteers from the Church of God in Miami and neighboring areas joined forces with OneBlood. A nationally recognized non-profit organization, OneBlood works to “enhance the health and well-being of others” not only through sponsoring blood drives but also by facilitating scientific research.

With an early morning start, volunteers set up the park: comfortable areas for donors to rest after giving blood, snack stations with refreshing drinks for donors, and grills for barbecuing to provide lunch. They transformed Tropical Park not only into a blood donation site but even a hub for live entertainment.

Volunteers entertained guests with their talents—from choreographed flamenco dance pieces to comedic skits. Even the Church of God in Miami Choir performed a song titled “Heaven’s Kingdom is Near.” The performances inspired and uplifted the audience, especially those who felt fatigued after donating blood.

Located next to a major street that attracts residents, Tropical Park was the perfect place for the blood drive to help raise community awareness of the need to donate blood. People lined up one by one filling up the six big red buses to donate blood, plasma, and platelets for those in need. Whether they saw the blood drive as they passed by the park or heard about it on the radio or through word-of-mouth, people braved the Miami heat to give the gift of life.

After the six-hour event, more than 150 people were able to donate blood—exceeding the expectations of the OneBlood organizers. “We are so thankful for all your hard work to make this blood drive possible,” said a OneBlood official at the end of the event. Members were grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community and are looking forward to the next blood drive.

The average human heart pumps 2,000 gallons of blood each day. Yet, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion because of an accident, surgery, and other life-threatening situations. There is an ever-present need to donate blood and many opportunities to save a life.