Following the devastation of the Boston Marathon bombings in April, the St. Thomas of Villanova Church Men's Group and Women of Wilmington decided they wanted to take action to support the victims of the attack and their families.
The two groups settled on holding a "Wilmington Strong" blood drive with the American Red Cross to remember those who were affected by the tragedy at the 2013 Boston Marathon.
The drive will be held in honor of all of the victims of the bombings, including Wilmington native Sean Collier who lost his life in the line of duty with the MIT Police Department.
Malvone, a trauma nurse, said he hopes the blood drive will provide a chance for Wilmington residents and donors to reflect on the marathon bombings, and to take a moment and remember those who lost their lives as a result of the tragedy.
"I would hope people will think about not only what has happened, but what is happening," Malvone said. "Things can change instantaneously. You never know when you'll need a donation but it's important it's there when you do need it."
Malvone said the need for blood following a tragedy such as a bombing or shooting is immediate and crucial.
"You need to have a good quantity of blood on hand not only for something like an elective surgery but for multiple traumas," Malvone said. "The first thing that's asked for when treating a trauma patient is O negative."
"Even if it's not something as dramatic as the marathon bombings, it could be a car accident victim or multiple shooting victim, the need is real."
The blood drive will be held on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the basement hall of St. Thomas Church at 126 Middlesex Ave.
20 donors have signed up so far, according to Malvone, and the organizers are optimistic for a high turnout.
"I think so far we've had a great response," Malvone said. "I know it's hard to get donors so for people to respond in the way they have is great."