Riverside Baptist Church using community to support Sav-A-Life, Red Cross

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter

HELENA — For people of faith, coming together as a community to support the vulnerable is an unconditional act born out of selfless love for God and others.

Riverside Baptist Church is taking several opportunities throughout the next month to help further that goal, specifically by providing fundraising for pregnancy resource center Sav-A-Life Shelby and running a blood donation drive benefitting the American Red Cross.

According to Bill Golden, a minister with Riverside, the Sav-A-Life fundraiser is centered around the observation of the National Sanctity of Human Life Day, which the church observes on Jan. 17.

To make the goal a more tangible experience, the church will give out baby bottles so that the congregation and members of the community can fill them with donations throughout the month and have a clear picture of who they are supporting.

“The executive director of Sav-A-Life Shelby is a member of our church, and we try to support that ministry and him through this fundraiser,” Golden said. “We give out baby bottles through the month of January and encourage people to fill those up with coins, dollar bills and checks to help support them.”

These donations will go toward supporting Sav-A-Life’s mission of providing resources and help to pregnant women and families in order to develop a culture of life where abortion is unnecessary and undesirable.

“They have a center where they have classes for moms to teach them different types of skillsets,” Golden said. “They can shop in a store with new or almost new clothing and diapers. A lot of that money contributes to that.”

Golden said the organization also provides ultrasounds for pregnant mothers and funds raised throughout the fundraiser help to support the operation of their machinery so the ladies who come in can learn more about their pregnancy.

This is an annual fundraiser for the church, that sees enthusiastic participation from the congregation. The children of the church get to be visible during the fundraiser, as they will collect the bottles during the services.

While the fundraiser is centered around the service on Jan. 17, the church is running the fundraiser through the rest of the month as well.

Another important issue the church is focusing on is the need for blood during the COVID-19 pandemic. With infections still on the rise, hospitals are under immense pressure and in the need for blood.

To serve this need, the church will run a blood drive for the American Red Cross on Feb. 7 at their facility.

“We reached out to the American Red Cross right after COVID-19 started. We had one back then and it was very successful according to them,” Golden said.  “We decided we wanted to continue to support our community in that way. We scheduled our second one here for them.”

The church provides volunteers and coordination for the blood drive and ensures that everything runs smoothly so the organization is able to maximize its collection in a time of need.

Golden said this event is a pinnacle of the type of positive dynamic that the faith-based community in Helena creates for its city and surrounding areas.

“This is just a way of us giving back to our community during a time when there is a great need for blood,” Golden explained. “We have had a lot of participation not only in our church, but in the community as well. We have day ministries through our early learning center and after school care program. We are able to reach out to parents through those programs to parents in the community.”

In a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is still affecting people of all walks of life, it is through initiatives like these that Riverside Baptist Church and its partners in the community feel the calling to come together to help tackle some of the most serious issues of the day.

More information about RBC’s baby bottle fundraiser for Sav-A-Life, and blood drive for American Red Cross can be found by visiting the Riverside Baptist Church Facebook page.