When it comes to Father’s Day, Blood Bank of Delmarva has a few fathers who donate with their children, or grandchildren, for that matter.

As we approach Father’s Day on Sunday, June 16, we want to salute the men who have taught their children and grandchildren the importance of donating blood.

Blood can only come from human beings willing to spend an hour of their time donating, something only 3 percent of the U.S. population does.

On April 11, Brian Mengel and his daughter, Madison Mengel, did their part and donated together at the Georgetown CHEER Center in Georgetown, Delaware. We first ran into them donating together at the Ocean City [Md.] Blood Drive on January 23, which was where they scheduled their next donation in Georgetown.

It’s something they enjoy doing together, some quality father-daughter time, if you will.

“It’s just for the moment, though,” Brian said. “She’s off to do her master’s degree in South Carolina in August.”

“I’ll continue to do it, though, in South Carolina,” said Madison, who like her father, has A positive blood.

Another father-daughter tandem who donated this spring was John and Leighann Coupe. We saw them on February 1 at Blood Bank of Delmarva’s Christiana Donor Center and again in mid-May. With them was Leighann’s fiancé, Matthew Lutz.

“I’ve been donating for 40 plus years, and when she became a paramedic, she felt like she needed to start donating blood,” John said. “I said, well, lets’ do it together, and we can spend some time together. Once in a while, you need somebody to push on you.

“I’m a lifetime member of Christiana Fire Company, and that’s where I think she got her feel for medical services and EMS, growing up,” he added. “My proudest moment was when I got to pin her badge on her when she graduated from paramedic school.”

Leighann works for New Castle County EMS, and her unit gave the first transfusion of pre-hospital whole blood in conjunction with BBD.

“We have been able to coordinate our schedules so that we can donate together – father-daughter time,” Leighann said. “We are also doing the all-season donor program this year! Recently, my fiancé has been going with us as well.”

John and Leighann are O positive and donate whole blood, with John’s units usually going to Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware. Matthew is A positive, and he donated plasma on May 15.

A few days later, on May 23, New Castle County Councilman George Smiley donated blood with two of his grandsons, Tristen and A.J. Hudson. Councilman Smiley has been donating for 50 years, and he encouraged Tristen to start donating in high school.

“I joked that we ought to go bonding while donating blood,” he said. “He reached out to me when he came home from college. It was actually Tristen’s idea to donate [on May 23], and he said we ought to see if we can bring [first-time donor] A.J. So, we made a morning of it. We met at the Blood Bank, did the donation, then went to breakfast. My wife said I picked the weirdest way of bonding with my grandsons. We take what time we can get.”

Incidentally, Smiley has a third grandson interested in donating blood when he is old enough.

“Maybe it’s something they’ll keep doing the rest of their lives, hopefully.”