Thursday, Nov 9, 2023

Donate blood, thank a veteran: Marsh Regional teams up with Wreaths Across America

Marsh Regional Blood Center is teaming up with the Tri-Cities Military Affairs Council for a blood drive event that will honor American heroes.

National Wreaths Across America Day is a nationwide event that celebrates the lives of veterans with ceremonies held at more than 2,500 cemeteries across all 50 states, including Mountain Home National Cemetery in Johnson City. Sponsorships and volunteer work are the backbone of the annual ceremony, which manages the laying of wreaths at every headstone in the cemetery.  

For this year’s ceremony, Marsh Regional will sponsor one wreath for every unit of blood donated on Friday, Nov. 10, in honor of Veterans Day.  

“Our veterans are some of the most selfless individuals in our society, and Marsh Regional is honored to work with the Tri-Cities Military Council on an event that not only helps save the lives of people in our community, but at the same time, also honors those who fight for our freedoms every day,” said Steffanie Sukel, director of Marsh Regional. “It’s a beautiful partnership that will aid our communities with the gift of life while also saying ‘thank you’ to our veterans. And what better way to do that than with the selfless act of donating blood?”  

More than 16,000 veterans are buried at Mountain Home’s cemetery, and countless hours of volunteer work are required to ensure that every headstone receives a live fir wreath in time for the holidays.  

All donations collected at any Marsh Regional location on Nov. 10 will be included in the pledge. Donation centers in Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. for donation. Appointments for the Wreaths Across America drive are recommended, and donors should call the center where they plan to donate.  

Bristol Donor Center, 1996 W. State St., Bristol, 423-652-0014

Julia Davis Donor Center, 111 W. Stone Drive, Kingsport, 423-408-7500

Johnson City Donor Center, 2428 Knob Creek Road, Johnson City, 423-282-7090

Donors who participate in the Wreaths Across America blood drive will receive a brand-new, long-sleeve holiday T-shirt and a snack. Donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health to give blood. Donors should eat a well-balanced meal within four to six hours of donation and will not be eligible for donation if they have a cold, sore throat, fever, flu, fever blisters or are taking antibiotics.

Donors with O-negative blood types are especially encouraged to donate, as their blood can be used to treat any patient.

Blood collected by Marsh Regional stays within the Appalachian Highlands, as the blood center supplies blood and blood products to 20 regional medical facilities, all regional cancer centers and five air rescue bases across Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky. Blood donations benefit trauma patients as well as patients who need a regular supply of blood and blood products, such as patients in treatment for cancer or those with blood disorders.

Visit for more information on blood donation and eligibility or to schedule an appointment.