As Iowans remember the terrorist attacks a decade ago, they can take part in the National Day of Service and Remembrance by giving blood. Christine Hayes, spokeswoman for the LifeServe Blood Center, hopes to rekindle the spirit of unity and compassion that swept the country after September 11th, as well as to remind people blood donations are needed every day, not just in times of tragedy.

She says when people didn’t know what to do after 9-11, they showed up at their blood centers, rolling up their sleeves and offering to give blood. Hayes says they need those same individuals to continue to support blood collection efforts every day to make sure blood is available, no matter what may be going on in the world.

Hayes says it’s important for people to remember that in times of tragedy or trauma, it’s the blood on the shelves that will help patients in need. She says they collect blood six days a week, every week of the year so patients always have a blood product available to them when they need it.

She says so many people were gracious enough to think about giving blood after 9-11 that they simply want to remind them how important donations are in the community. Hayes says they’re encouraging people to get out and donate blood at one of their centers or at one of their mobile blood drives this weekend, and they’ll receive a gift for their donation.

Hayes says people who give blood this Friday, Saturday or next Monday will be able to get a commemorative “Remember 9/11” t-shirt. Hayes says it’s easy to be a blood donor. She says one donation helps save the lives of up to three people.

She says people need to be at least 16 years old, weigh 120 pounds and be in good general health to be eligible to donate. To find your local blood center, go online to lifeservebloodcenter.org or call 800-287-4903.

By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City