Residents have the chance to observe the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 by helping to save lives next week.
United Blood Services returns to the Owens Valley with two separate blood drives – one in Lone Pine at Statham Hall and the other in Bishop at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church Parish Hall.
The Lone Pine blood drive will be held from noon-6 p.m. Monday and the Bishop drive will be held from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday.
United Blood Services Donor Representative Jan McKee said walk-in donations are welcome at both locations, but those who wish to do so may make an appointment by visiting www.bloodhero.com  and using the sponsor code “Bishop” or “Lone.”
Whoa Nellie Deli, in Lee Vining, is offering a free taco dinner to all who donate blood in either local blood drives.
United Blood Services provides trained technicians and the equipment necessary to extract blood from residents, while volunteer organizations handle appointments and observe donors in the waiting room after they give blood.
Also, the Northern Inyo Hospital Auxiliary spends the week before each drive baking dozens of cookies for donors to help them get their strength up after donating.
The Bishop blood drive is sponsored by the Bishop Lions Club, NIH Auxiliary, Bishop Sunrise Rotary and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary.
McKee said she does not have a sponsor for the Lone Pine Blood Drive, but invites any community group who is interested in helping to organize drives next year to contact her.
McKee said United Blood Services is hoping to receive a total of 220 donations from the Bishop Drive, and at least 50 in Lone Pine.
“Last year was the biggest year we’ve had in Lone Pine,” McKee said. “This is an important time of year for us, because we’re coming out of summer and going into the holiday season,” which is a busy time of year for blood banks.
Locally, donors must be at least 16 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds to give blood. Donors under the age of 18 are required to have permission from their parents before donating.
For more information about the Lone Pine blood drive, call Loralee (Independence) at (760) 878-2077 or Mary (Lone Pine) at (760) 876-4348.
For more information about the Bishop blood drive, call Jan McKee at (760) 258-5759.