Santa Monica, CA (June 22, 2023) — Gracing the parking lot wall at the American Red Cross Western Los Angeles chapter is a faded, 140-foot-long mural painted in 2002. Thanks to local artist Boo Simms, that wall is getting a new design and fresh coat of paint on June 29. Additionally, the Western LA board is hosting a community blood drive on the same day in the same location.
When Simms heard the Red Cross Western LA chapter wanted to update their parking lot’s 21-year-old mural, Simms was quick to raise her hand. Simms’ twin sister and business partner Sarah Simms Hendrix sits on the board of the Western LA chapter and suggested combining a board hosted blood drive with a day of mural painting. As the recipient of life saving blood herself, Hendrix sees the painting project as a way to cultivate community and bring awareness to the many services provided by the Red Cross.
“The first time I saw the mural space at the Red Cross office in Santa Monica I knew my sister Boo could create some magic,” shared Hendrix. “Boo has a way of adding genuine joy and so much color to spaces that can be enjoyed at a community level, whether it be at a school, park or other public-facing area. My hope is that this new mural will create an opportunity for people to talk about the Red Cross and share stories of its mission.”
Red Cross volunteers will gather the morning of June 29 to add color to the new mural stenciled by Simms, and paint donated by Dunn-Edwards Corporation. Community members are encouraged to sign up to donate blood between 1 - 7 p.m., then visit the freshly painted artwork afterwards. The board sponsored blood drive hopes to raise a minimum of 30 units of blood, as having a readily available blood supply is vital for patients whose survival depends on transfusions. By donating, people can feel good knowing that they are helping patients in their community.
The sisters, who own Lady & Larder in Santa Monica, hope this new mural creates a positive ripple effect and inspires people of all ages to ask how they can serve their families and communities every time they pass it by.
How to donate blood
To make an appointment, simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.