DENVER, Monday, February 11, 2019 -- Civil servants and area residents helped save lives by donating their time and blood Monday, Feb. 11, 2019 at the Lakewood Driver License Office.
Almost two dozen turned out for the Driver Testing and Education Blood Drive, which raised enough blood to help 36 people, including one donor who donated for the 44th time at a Division of Motor Vehicles' blood drive.
Denver native Laurie Benallo, a former DMV employee, said she donates because she likes helping people but really, it is more personal for her.
"I had a brother who had a lot of medical problems and he had to have blood transfusions a few times," Benallo said. "It was like I decided after that I would make sure to do it because someone always needs blood."
Benallo, who worked for the DMV for about six years, said she is glad the Lakewood Driver License Office hosts the blood drive four times a year.
"It makes it easy for me to come out, see people I know and get it taken care of easily," Benallo said.
Driver Testing and Education Manager Carol Olds, who's organized each blood drive for the past 11 years, said it's great to have repeat donors but loves seeing fresh faces each drive.
Division of Motor Vehicles Criminal Investigator Brian Beary, a Louisville, Colo., native, is one of those fresher faces.
"I started back in December when a coworker got me to donate at a previous blood drive here," Beary said. "So I decided to try to make every one of them now."
When asked why he's trying to donate at each DMV-hosted blood drive, Beary said it's because blood is always needed.
"Hopefully, one day I won't need it," Beary said, adding that if he ever needs a transfusion he won't feel guilty about using the blood because of his donations. "It gives you a different opportunity to give back, to do something else for your community besides what you do on a daily basis."
The next blood drive hosted by the Lakewood Driver License Office is scheduled for May 13 and more information will be posted on the DMV website, dmv.colorado.gov, and on the Colorado Department of Revenue's Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Colorado Division of Motor vehicles offers 35 online services at mydmv.colorado.gov. Renew your driver license, renew your motor vehicle registration, get a driving record and more!