It has been 11 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, and 11 years later Indiana Blood Center employees’ memories of where they were, what they were doing, and how they responded still resonate.
In the aftermath of September 11, Indiana Blood Center witnessed an outpour of volunteer blood donors. 6,848 Hoosiers donated blood from September 11 – September 15, with 2,173 donating within 12 hours after the attacks.
Below are a few stories that our staff recount about that fateful day 11 years ago.
“It was a crazy time. People wanted to do something to help, and donating blood gave people a chance to take immediate action to help those in need. Donors lined the hallways – some of them willing to wait 5-6 hours to donate blood. There were still people waiting to donate at 2:30 am. That night, I didn’t clock out until 4 am.”
Heather Vaught – Director of Production and Components
“There is one memory I will never forget. There was a couple whose son worked in the World Trade Center and they had not been able to get a hold of him. While the wife was in the middle of donating, her cell phone started ringing. It was their son, telling them he had gotten out and was okay. Her husband started crying and shouting the news and for the moment at least, we all had something to cheer about.”
Yolanda Bibbs – Blood Collection Supervisor
“On a normal day at one of our donor centers, we would see maybe 10 donors. On September 12, we had 109 individuals donate, and continued to have 80-90 donors a day for the next week.”
“Everyone united together because there was nothing else we could really do. What amazed me was how everyone was patient and willing to help in some way.”
Pete Lux – Director of Blood Collections
“I don’t think there has ever been an event that has brought people together like 9/11. What I remember most is not only how many people came to our donor centers to donate but also the amount of support provided by the community. Everybody wanted to help. Former Governor Ed O’Bannon even stood in line for five hours with his fellow Hoosiers to donate. It was overwhelming to see how many people wanted to do something – anything – to try to make a difference.”
Tammy Nicholson – Director of Materials Management
September 11, 2011 is a day that we will never forget. The generosity demonstrated by thousands of Hoosiers will be remembered forever.
As we reflect on this time in our history, Raise Your Sleeve in honor of those who sacrificed their lives on that fateful day. Make a donor appointment at DonorPoint.org.