CLAYMONT, Del. – The Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) held its inaugural Claymont Fire Company Blood Drive on Tuesday, January 30 that helped celebrate the culmination of National Blood Donor Month.

The debut in this blue-collar town in New Castle County was important in establishing a presence in eastern Brandywine Hundred.

“I normally give at Talleyville Fire Company, and when I heard we were having it at our station, I just came here,” Maria Hassel said. “I usually give every two months. I’m in the lifesaver program. I’m B negative, so you guys like me for that, too.”

In the canteen set up in the spacious Claymont Fire Hall, O negative blood donor Charlie Smutz was recovering after giving double red cells on the Alyx machine.

“I’m less than a mile from here, and I work at the Home Depot,” Smutz said. “It’s easier to get here than to go down to Christiana. I try and do every 16 weeks, but sometimes things happen.”

B positive blood donor Rasheed Garrison also donated double reds as Collections Support Manager Vivian Powell was hustling to ensure staff maximize units as the end of the month loomed.

Back in whole blood, Neal McCracken donated at Claymont because of the “convenience.”

“It’s a mile from my house,” he said. “I told the guys at work I was donating in Claymont on Tuesday. Hopefully, that will encourage someone else to donate.”

Dawn Hower was glad to donate at the Claymont Fire Hall as a walk-in.

“It’s so hard for me to make an appointment because I never really know when I’m going to get done work,” Hower said. “Saint Francis [Hospital] had a blood drive today, but it was over at 3 o’clock. I got the text last night about this, saying it was until 6. I said, ‘ooh, that’s awesome.’”

Account Manager Gia Rivera plans to bring BBD back in the spring.

“The fire company was very excited and I’m sure they’ll be very successful with future events,” she said. “It’s exciting when the community is excited.”

Thank you to all the donors for helping BBD kick off the Claymont Fire Co. Blood Drive.