STANTON, Del. – Platelet donor E. Carlos Alicea has been donating platelets since 1999, but he had never been photographed at by Blood Bank of Delmarva’s Marketing Department.

“I was starting to get jealous,” Mr. Alicea quipped.

Smiling blood donor with a BBD staff member wearing a red sweatshirt reading Love.

Well, Wednesday, February 14 was his lucky day. He joined a number of BBD associates and other donors who wore red for Valentine’s Day, and he was photographed for showing some holiday spirit. What’s more, Alicea wore a red shirt that was the same shade as the red top that Blood Collection Tech Emily Soto wore.

For Alicea, Valentine’s Day just happened to be when he was due to donate.

“It started out as helping a girl from church,” he said of giving platelets. “And then I found out that my blood type [AB positive] is on the rare side. I thought, you know what? That’s something I can do, especially now that I’m retired.”

In addition to being transformed into a red and pink landscape, BBD even had a few associates with Valentine’s Day themed fingernail polish, namely Hospitals Services Coordinator Layla Kurtz, Lab Aide Karen Martinez and Blood Collection Tech Jania Harris.

What’s more, donors enjoyed the heart-shaped, Valentine’s cookies waiting for them in the café post donation. That included whole blood donor Heather Sobolewski, who would have donated without the extra reward.

“I’m just doing my service,” Sobolewski said.

In the double reds section, Vietnam veteran Al Mosley donated with Blood Collection Tech Tiffany Vannatter.

“Yes, I’m a lifetime member,” Mosley said. “It’s an honor. I will have been married 43 years in July. My wife understands that I’ll be back home,” he added, with a laugh, as he referenced Valentine’s Day.

The Valentine’s Day spirit continued at BBD into Thursday, February 15 as Saint Mark’s High School junior Mackenzie Fanning presented to donate wearing a pink top along with her school jumper. Fanning was one of the first 16-year-old to donate at the Saint Mark’s High School Blood Drive held in November.

“It’s for a good cause,” she said. “I was upset that I couldn’t donate [last week]. I have O negative, so I know anybody can take it. I might as well. I don’t need all my blood; they can have it.”

In other news:

The third annual You’re Someone’s Type Blood Drive booked 16 appointments on Monday, February 12. Deanna and Justin in the Morning held this blood drive in homage to Valentine’s Day. Thank you to all the donors who came out to save lives at the New Castle County Department of Parks & Recreation’s Brandywine Rec Building. Special thanks to Brew Ha Ha for giving free coffee to our donors in the café, and to Joey T’s Food Truck for giving donors 50 percent off their delicious, breakfast and lunch sandwiches.

Last, but not least, BBD Director of Donor Recruitment Joanna Arat went back to her alma mater, Ursuline Academy, for the Thursday blood drive. There, she saw the school dog greet anxious donors, who also got to hold hands with friends as they donated. Thanks for the pictures, Joanna.