2019 Molly Bowden Blood Drive

Volunteers assist donors during the 2019 Molly Bowden Blood Drive

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

The American Red Cross will partner with the Columbia Police Department and the Boone County Sheriff's Office to host the annual Molly Bowden Blood Drive.

Organizers will hold the blood drive Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Grace Bible Church at 601 Blue Ridge Road in Columbia.

Organizers created the annual blood drive to honor Officer Molly Bowden. Bowden was shot in the line of duty while conducting a traffic stop on Jan. 10, 2005. She passed away due to her injuries a month later on Feb. 10, 2005.

Bowden had served with the Columbia Police Department for more than three years. She's the first CPD officer to be killed in the line of duty.

According to the American Red Cross, appointments aren't required, however, they are preferred. The organization has shared available times to donate on its website.

All volunteers, employees, and donors are required to wear a face mask regardless of their vaccination status.

The blood drive comes as the nation continues to deal with a shortage of blood. The American Red Cross said all blood types are needed, however, an extra emphasis is being put on type O blood. That's the blood type most needed in hospitals.

The American Red Cross says hospitals might be forced to hold off on essential blood transfusions if more donations aren't received.

January is also National Blood Donor Month as winter weather, seasonal illnesses, and COVID-19 tend to decrease the number of blood donations.

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