MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On September 11, 2001, thousands lined up outside donation centers across the country to give blood. Eighteen years later, that tradition continues here in Minnesota.

Memorial Blood Centers hosted a pop-up blood donation clinic Wednesday in the middle of the ground floor of the IDS Center in Minneapolis. Across the river in St. Paul, the American Red Cross partnered with Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Minnesota to bring a donation bus outside the Senate offices of the Minnesota State Capitol.

READ MORE: ‘We Were Able To Unite’: Minnesota High School Students Reflect On 9/11

At the IDS Center, many came out of their offices for the afternoon to donate.

“Today I wanted to give on 9/11,” said donor Melissa Dubuque.

The chance to sit still during the donation gave people a time to reflect on that tragic day.

(credit: CBS)

“At the time, I had a 2-year-old son and I thought, ‘What is that going to change for our kids as they get older?’” Dubuque said.

For James Wahl, donating blood is a habit.

“I’m just one donation short of three gallons,” Wahl said.

READ MORE: ‘Come From Away’ And 9/11’s Real-Life Story Of Hope

Habitual behavior is what Memorial Blood Centers hope to spread. They are currently experiencing a blood shortage.

“September 11 is a great opportunity to remember that people depend on blood donors,” said Memorial Blood Centers’ Erica Buege. “Hurricane Dorian certainly impacted the blood supply, a lot more people needing blood.”

Donation centers recommend you get in a habit of donating four times a year, which is once a season. A person is eligible to donate blood every 56 days.

Visit American Red Cross and Memorial Blood Centers online to find the nearest donation center.

Marielle Mohs

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