As part of NYBCe’s Juneteenth celebration, Blood Bank of Delmarva teamed up with the Sickle Cell Association of Delaware for a blood drive held at Cornerstone Fellowship Baptist Church in Wilmington, Delaware on Wednesday, June 19.

Two blood donors smiling in front of the BBD blood drive bus.

The blood drive booked 15 donors and helped contribute to the genetic diversity of the Enterprise’s blood supply.

Blood drive coordinator Donna Monroe is founder and executive director of the Sickle Cell Association. Her granddaughter has sickle cell, and she has seen the need for blood firsthand after several nights spent at Nemours Children’s Hospital.

“Thank you, everybody, who has come out today for our Juneteenth blood drive for sickle cell,” Monroe said. “We’re combining World Sickle Cell Day with Juneteenth. World Sickle Cell Day was started in 2008 by a proclamation by the United Nations to shine a light on sickle cell worldwide and raise awareness. We’re having a blood drive because blood is one of the major, major things that sickle cell patients need. We have sickle cell patients who need blood regularly, religiously every month. There’s always a need for blood.”

Sickle Cell Association of Delaware Board member Janet Tripp was the first donor of the day. Her son also has sickle cell anemia, and he benefits from regular transfusions.

“I’m just glad that all of this is happening on the same day as Juneteenth. We need to give blood to do our part, because there are many people out there who need the blood. This day just seems more important, because we can do it as a celebration.”

BBD Account Manager Gia Rivera said it was exciting to host another Juneteenth Blood Drive with the Sickle Cell Association of Delaware in honor of African American Independence Day and sickle cell awareness.

 “It is important for us to recognize and support local organizations such as SCADE to help spread awareness of the importance of blood donation and Sickle Cell Anemia,” Rivera said. “The Blood Bank of Delmarva and SCADE are thankful for the Cornerstone Fellowship Baptist Church for including us in their Juneteenth celebration event.”

The Sickle Cell Association blood drive also attracted donors Kerry , whose wife has sickle cell, and Jeffrey Leggette, a regular blood donor.

Cornerstone Church member Arthur Weathersby “was convicted by the spirt” and decided to donate blood before going bowling.

The blood drive also drew support from Pat Weikart, director of the nonprofit organization, The Healing Tree. They provides services to families with sickle cell pediatric patients.