Daniel Richards remembers her cousin, Jessica Fulmer, as someone who loved helping others.
Through a blood drive, Richards, a marketing assistant at Shepeard Community Blood Center, hopes to commemorate the life of her cousin and raise blood supplies after a busy holiday weekend, when levels typically become critically low.
"Jessica was in the nursing program at Georgia Southern (University), so I couldn't think of a better way to honor her," she said. "Her career would be saving lives if she was still here."
Fulmer, a 2005 Lakeside High School graduate, was 21 when she died in a wreck near Metter, Ga., in February 2008. Also killed in the wreck were 2005 Lakeside High graduate Melissa Eustice and friend Jamie Carter. All three attended Georgia Southern.
The Angel of Hope Memorial Blood Drive will be Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Sanctuary church, 4584 Cox Road, Evans.
Richards said she hopes to eventually set up a scholarship fund in honor of Fulmer.
"She would have loved to do something like this," Richards said. "I know her and how she liked to help people."
The church's pastor, Bryan Cockrell, said he has known Fulmer's family for about 25 years and is glad to be part of the event.
"Though our loved ones are gone from here, they're not forgotten, and I think anytime you can give them a memorial like that, it honors the memory of that person (and) ministers to the family," he said. "It's for a good cause, so it blesses in both directions."
In addition to donating blood, Richards asks that people bring a canned good for Golden Harvest Food Bank.
During Memorial Day weekend, Richards said the blood center typically faces a shortage in blood supplies. Each blood donation can save three lives.
"We give the most blood that weekend to hospitals," she said.
Richards said they've received an amazing response from those in the community so far. She said she is expecting between 200 and 300 donors.
Cockrell said he has heard that many people from out of town are planning to participate in the blood drive.
"From what I understand, not only people locally, but friends of Jessica's from the school and different organizations she was a part of seem to all be wanting to honor her memory," he said.
Breakfast from Chick-Fil-A and a barbecue lunch from CW's will be provided to donors.
Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Donors need to be at least 17 years old, though 16-year-olds can donate blood with parental consent.
Those interested in contributing blood need to provide a photo identification card.
"I just felt blessed that I could be in a position at Shepeard that I could make this happen easily," Richards said.
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