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Lawmakers kick-off boots and badges blood drive

DOVER – Officials kicked off the Boots and Badges Blood Drive at Legislative Hall on Tuesday, marking a call-to-action for summer donations.
Blood donations have decreased 28 percent during the last six years at the Blood Bank of Delmarva, enhancing a greater need for donors during the summer months. Summer is a particularly difficult time to garner donations since there is a lack of high school and college blood drives, which typically make up 20 percent of the Blood Bank’s school-year donations.

Sponsored by members of the General Assembly, the annual Boots and Badges competition between police and fire departments brings in additional summer donations, raises awareness and supports our local heroes. This year, it could provide significant donor help.

“As a volunteer firefighter I saw how critical blood donations are. One pint of blood can save three lives, and that is incredibly powerful,” said Rep. William Carson, D-Smyrna. “Our region desperately needs donors, and I implore everyone to make the effort to donate during the summer, when there is a particular shortage.”

The Blood Bank needs about 350 donors per day to supply all 16 hospitals on Delmarva.  In order to continue helping the 20,000 patients a year, this event marks a call-to-action to donate. One pint of blood can save up to three lives.

“Donating blood is a tangible way to contribute to your community,” said former Seaford Fire Chief and current House Minority Leader Danny Short, R-Seaford.  “It is the easiest way one citizen can impact the well-being of their neighbors and maybe even save a life in the process.”

Blood Bank of Delmarva Executive Director Michele Hart-Henry thanked state legislators for holding this blood drive, noting it took place during BBD’s annual Summer Blood Drive. This year’s drive has a goal of collecting 30,207 units, an increase over the 22,000 units collected in 2017.

“I love this friendly competition between the police officers and firefighters. But, the real winners of this drive will be the local patients in need at Delmarva hospitals,” Hart-Henry said. “Blood cannot be manufactured. Only human donors can provide the lifesaving blood that patients need. Please remember to schedule a time to give blood in addition to scheduling your vacation. Please call us at 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 or visit www.SummerBloodDrive.com