Mosques Across the U.S. Open Their Doors to Blood Donors During Ramadan

Muslims are flocking to mosques across the country to donate blood during Ramadan as part of a blood drive coordinated by the American Red Cross, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA ("Muslims for Life" initiative), Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, and Humanity First USA.

According to the American Red Cross' website, 250,000 potential blood donations have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. To meet the needs of 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country, the organization needs to collect 15,000 every day.

To help achieve this, the Red Cross has teamed with Muslim organizations to utilize mosques—which remain closed for large gatherings, but are open for essential services—for blood donation centers. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community will provide venues to the American Red Cross under their 62 U.S. chapters, according to The Hill.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was founded in 1920 and has millions of members in 213 countries. It has its own youth group and relief organization and has worked to combat negative perceptions of the religion following the September 11 terrorist attacks, through its "Muslims for Peace" campaign.

Getty Images Blood Donation
People donate blood at Bloodworks Northwest on March 17, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. Schools provide 25 percent of local blood donations and their closing due to the coronavirus pandemic has officials worried the region could see a shortage. Karen Ducey/Getty Images

The Red Cross has put out a call for blood donations to help meet patient needs during the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as the U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

On its website, the Red Cross reassures Americans that it follows the "highest standards of safety and infection control" as volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need.

"There is no known end date in this fight against coronavirus and the Red Cross needs the help of blood and platelet donors and blood drive hosts to maintain a sufficient blood supply for weeks to come," the website says.

You can make an appointment to give blood on the American Red Cross website by choosing your local blood donation center using your Zipcode. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA's Sleeves Up Facebook page shows 60 pledges have been made out of the target of 1,000.

For those donating at one of their mosques, shared your pictures and updates on social media using #muslimsforlife.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html)
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.
Mosques Across the U.S. Open Their Doors to Blood Donors During Ramadan | U.S.