The Volunteer Ministers of the Church of Scientology of Tampa collected 57 units of blood this weekend at their Autumn Blood Drive in downtown Clearwater. This was the fourth and final blood drive of 2012 by the Volunteer Ministers, (also known as VMs), who worked with Florida Blood Services on the event.  

The blood drive came at a critical time. As colleges and workplaces are gearing up for vacations during Thanksgiving and Christmas, the number of blood donations from these sources decreases.

After donation, each pint can be broken down into three different elements – red blood cells, plasma and platelets. These elements, frozen, can be stored. Plasma, used to help burn victims recover, can be stored for up to a year.

“It is estimated that 90% of the population of the United States will need one of these components in their lifetimes,” said Volunteer Minister Coordinator Judy Fagerman. “However, only 37% of the people who live in the US are eligible to donate, so every donation really counts!”

The Tampa Bay VMs, through this year’s blood drives with Florida Blood Services, have collected 236 units of blood.

Ms. Fagerman, who oversees VM activity from her duties at the Church of Scientology of Tampa, says that the VMs were originally established by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard. “He described a Volunteer Minister as “…a person who helps his fellow man on a volunteer basis by restoring purpose, truth and spiritual values to the lives of others.”

“The VMs have been a part of 128 worse-case scenario disaster sites,” said Fagerman. “Our VMs from Tampa have assisted fire fighters, National Guard, Red Cross and other groups at disasters, here and in places like India, Haiti and Mexico.”

For more information about the Volunteer Ministers, please go to