9/11 blood drive tradition continues

Published: Sep. 11, 2020 at 8:05 PM CDT
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It’s become a 9/11 tradition here in Rapid City, the Drops of Life Blood Drive. Joe Burmeister has been organizing and running this drive for a few years now.

That tradition continued Friday at the Rushmore Mall with Joe’s fifth drive. Joe says his interest in donating blood started back in high school with a civics teacher instilling the importance of giving. Vitalant says his first drive collected 83 units of blood and his record is 110. They say, heading into this year, he’s responsible for 966 people donating a total of 1,030 units of blood.

Burmeister says, “It’s a real simple way to give back to the community and help others in need if you’re willing to just let them stick your arm and put up with a little tiny pinch for just a few seconds. What easier gift can you give than the gift of life to somebody else?”. Tori Robbins of Vitalant says, “And he’s got such a can-do attitude and he won’t quit until he gets the schedule full. So it really is almost immeasurable the amount of lives Joe has touched, not only getting people to donate blood, but also the people who receive the blood and also all of their families.”> Joe also hosts a Drops of Life Blood Drive each September, filling the gaps between the big Community Heroes Blood Drives and the Guns and Hoses Blood Drives.