Kansas City church community donates blood in memory of beloved member

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A church community is donating life in memory of a beloved member of their congregation following his death.

Dozens of people showed up to donate blood at St. Peter's Catholic Church blood drive Wednesday dedicated to Dan Needham.

The church on Meyer Boulevard in Kansas City holds blood drives every quarter.

“I’m here to honor Dan. I’ve always given blood, but this day is dedicated to Dan in his honor,” said Lesley Reller, a church member who was donating blood.

Dan was a local community leader, and he served as the chairman for 21 blood drives, collecting a total of 814 units through the drives he helped organize.

“But this is a special one because we've dedicated it to Dan Needham, who was our social services director, and he passed away last month,” said Anne Pautler, the communications director for St. Peter’s Parish.

She said Needham died suddenly from a heart attack in October.

“He was just a very special part of our community and part of our Parrish staff," Pautler said. "He just did everything. The blood drive was one of his duties, but also it was something he was really dedicated to. We wanted to honor him that way.”

Needham worked at St. Peter's Parish for about four years, but those who worked with him say it felt like forever.

He was also in charge of their food pantry, community garden and senior citizens activities.

“You can't even calculate all the things he did. There's no replacing him for sure,” Pautler said.

“It was important to Dan, and I wanted to make sure to show up. I was the first one here. I wanted to make sure I did it for him,” Reller said.

Because they say he would do it for them.

The blood drive at Saint Peter's Church will run until 7 p.m. Wednesday. The church is located at East Meyer Boulevard and Holmes in Kansas City, Missouri.

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