COLLIER CO., Fla. — To honor the people who died on 9/11, NCH Community Blood Center will hold several blood drives in Collier County.
Each year, NCH has their Remembrance Blood Drive on 9/11. But with this year being the 20th anniversary, NCH tells me they wanted to extend the donation event to three days. Yesterday was the first day of the blood drive, with their signature mobile unit set up at Bonita Fire Control and Rescue. At this time, the blood center say they are in critical need for all blood types.
Donations, they say, can help treat patients undergoing chemotherapy, surgery as well as treatment for Covid-19. This marks a busy period for the blood center in terms of donors. The community blood center tells me when they typically host this blood drive on 9/11, they have close to one hundred donors.
Some of the donation centers are at fire departments, so you can bet a few firefighters rolled up their sleeves. They say giving the gift of life is a fitting way to pay tribute to people impacted by 9/11.
“It’s a way for the staff to help out too," says Greg DeWitt, Fire Chief of Bonita Springs Fire Dept. "The firefighters are out there everyday running the calls; staff, they don’t really run calls they do the behind the scenes. This gives them the opportunity to actually contribute and actually make a difference in the community.”
“With it being the 20th anniversary, we have a lot of transplants here from New York so we get a lot of community support," said Shannon Sanchez, Administrative Director for the Community Blood Center. "I, myself- my husband and son are both firefighters so this is very deep to me and we’re here for the community.”
Those donors who give blood now through tomorrow will also get a commemorative t-shirt. The 9/11 Remembrance Blood Drive will start this morning at 9:00. Crews will be out at North Collier Fire Control and Rescue in Naples until about 1:00. On Saturday, they will be at the Waterside Shops from 8 until 2:30.
Donors can also make a donation at the NCH Community Blood Center’s Donor Center from 8 until 4 today.