Officials commend BBD and urge community participation in National Blood Donor Month
this winter and all seasons

STANTON, Del. – Federal, state, and local officials joined Blood Bank of Delmarva, hospital officials, blood donors, and friends to commence the celebration of National Blood Donor Month at a press conference held at the John H. Ammon Medical Education Center, at ChristianaCare’s Christiana Hospital on Thursday, Jan 4.

More than 50 years ago, President Richard Nixon signed a proclamation designating January as National Blood Donor Month. The annual observance is meant to honor voluntary blood donors and encourage more people to give blood at a time when blood donations can drop.

The weeks following the holiday season are always difficult for the blood supply as school breaks, holiday travel, seasonal illness, and cold weather often contribute to fewer donations. Hospitals and patients rely upon a steady flow of volunteer donors, but the past few years have brought chronic blood shortages nationwide. To combat this, Blood Bank of Delmarva and partners are challenging residents to donate at least once per season in 2024.

U.S. Senator Tom Carper, who is nearing 5 gallons as a blood donor, was among the dignitaries to help BBD officially recognize National Blood Donor Month.

“Donating blood is one way that we can give back, help our neighbors, and be a hero,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) “I donate every couple of months. In fact, later this month when I’m next eligible to donate, I’ll have made my 40th donation with the Blood Bank of Delmarva! It’s a simple thing for me, but I know it has a huge impact on someone else. I’m grateful for the friendly staff, volunteers who make sure we are well-fed with delicious snacks and drinks, and the convenient and clean donor centers up and down Delaware. I think I’ve donated in nearly all of them!”

BBD received a proclamation from Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long on behalf of Governor John Carney and herself recognizing National Blood Donor Month in the State of Delaware.

“Thousands of people every day rely on blood donations to survive. While we are fortunate to have so many dedicated donors who constantly roll up their sleeves and give, Blood Banks across the nation regularly face shortages,” said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “National Blood Donor Month is an excellent opportunity to thank our donors and call on other residents to step up and give the miracle of life, especially at this time of need. Your donation can be the difference for a patient facing a critical situation.”

Aundrea Almond, Chief of Staff for New Castle County Executive Matthew Meyer, also presented the Blood Bank of Delmarva a proclamation on behalf of the County Executive, highlighting County Paramedics’ partnership with BBD and encouraging more people to donate blood.

“New Castle County Paramedics have partnered with Blood Bank of Delmarva to transfuse pre-hospital, low titer O positive blood at the scene of accidents and traumas in an effort to save more lives…”, the proclamation read in part.

“We in New Castle County are so proud of our partnership with the Blood Bank of Delmarva to bring whole blood into the field,” Chief of Staff Aundrea Almond added. “So far, our team has administered whole blood in the field over 50 times. We’re so proud to encourage additional blood donations in the community. Our New Castle County residents are faithful good donors, but we’d like to encourage even more with the help of the media and others in the room.”

Almond brought a contingent of New Castle County Paramedics with her, including NCCEMS Assistant Chief Kelli Starr-Leach.

“I’m hopeful this will encourage more people to donate blood,” Assistant Chief Starr-Leach said. “We’re very lucky in Delaware to have such a strong trauma system; Christiana Hospital does amazing work. Now that we’re bringing whole blood into the field, we’re literally saving lives.”

New Castle County Council President Karen Hartley-Nagle also extolled the County Paramedics in a resolution sponsored by County Council, and singled out elected officials who have set an example for all to follow, including U.S. Senator Carper, County Executive Meyer,

Councilman David Tackett, Councilman George Smiley, and Councilman Brandon Toole.

“Now, therefore, be it resolved, by and for the County Council of New Castle County that County Council hereby approves the recognition locally of National Blood Donor Month and that County residents who donate blood be recognized for their volunteer acts, and this esteemed panel also encourages businesses and organizations to sponsor community-based blood drives with Blood Bank of Delmarva,” Council President Hartley-Nagle read.

Michael Healy, Director of Blood Bank Services at ChristianaCare, also underscored the importance of recognizing National Blood Donor Month.

“The need for blood is ongoing; it does not take a holiday or vacation,” Healy said. “I urge everyone who is eligible to donate blood to consider scheduling that appointment today. Your donation will save lives.”

Robert Moley, one of BBD’s top platelet donors at 485 donations, and top whole blood donor Charles Putnam (26 gallons) were recognized by BBD as regular lifesavers. In 2001, his wife was diagnosed with leukemia, and he saw her receive several platelet transfusions.

“There are two reasons I do this,” Bob Moley said. “The secular reason is the war on cancer, and I have been blessed with good health. I’ve got a really high platelet count, and I consider myself an ammunitions factory for the doctors to use the fluids that I can give to fight diseases and help people. I feel like I’ve got to get in here because there are people that need this.

“And the religious part of it is, how can I serve my fellow brother and sister,” he said. “The best way is by sharing this lifesaving fluid that God has given me. It’s a payback.”

As for Putnam, he loves the fact that he has O negative blood, making him the universal donor for red blood cells.

“I feel like I’m about three feet off the ground when I walk out of [BBD] and even higher when I get an email telling me my blood went to Nemours Children’s Hospital,” Putnam said. “That’s pretty amazing.”

“It’s just a desire to help people,” he added. “There is a constant need for blood.”

Indeed, Shane Simmons concluded the press conference by relaying the story of how her son, Maverick Ford Painter, needed 8 units of O negative blood when he was born prematurely on September 3, 2018 at Christiana Hospital. He was the only one of triplets to survive.

“The truth is without blood donors we would not have our son with us today,” Simmons said. “Because of donors, we got to take our son home. If he can’t encourage you, I don’t know what will.”

Blood Bank of Delmarva Vice President Beau Tompkins thanked Simmons, donors, elected officials and BBD’s hospital partners for echoing the call for local residents to join us in the commitment to donate blood during National Blood Donor Month.

“Only donors willing to give of their time can help us ensure that hospitals and patients receive the lifeline they need during wintertime and, really, all seasons,” Tompkins said. “Together, we can make a meaningful impact on the health and well-being of our community.”

Blood donors can give every 56 days, and platelet donors can give twice per month. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently lifted several blood donor eligibility restrictions. To view current eligibility guidelines, visit or call 1.888.8.BLOOD.8.

Special thanks to ChristianaCare Vice President Meredith Stewart-Tweedie for welcoming everyone to the press conference at the outset.