Wednesday, 12 September 2018 13:10

Blood drive honors first responders

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AUGUSTA - Hundreds of people across Maine donated blood Tuesday as a way of thanking first responders.

American Red Cross staffers set up at several locations for the Roll Up Your Sleeve and Remember blood drive.


Held on the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America, the 17th annual blood drive was a way to remember the nearly three thousand people who died on Sept. 11, 2001. Many of those killed were police, firefighters and other first responders.


On the day of the attacks in 200 1hundreds donated blood in the state's capital. On Tuesday, the Augusta Civic Center was among the blood drive sites in Maine.


"We actually have some donors that will only donate at this drive in honor [of those who died]. They knew someone who either passed away or someone who was a first responder. So we have some donors that only come to this drive, which is really special," Jenna Palladino of the Red Cross said.


During the first few years after the 9/11 attacks, donors averaged in the 300s. On Tuesday, about 150 people were expected to give blood in Augusta.


Palladino said first responders often come to the drive to say thank you, even though the drive is the community's way of thanking them for being first responders.