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A Bond of Blood

 



  • Pacific Mutual employees donated blood to the American Red Cross to support the war effort
  • By April 1944, Pacific Mutual employees had donated 624 pints of blood

American Red Cross poster, 1940s. During World War II, Americans donated 13.3 million bottles of blood to the cause. National Institute Medicine
American Red Cross poster, 1940s. During World War II, Americans donated 13.3 million bottles of blood to the cause.
National Institute Medicine


In 1942, America was swept up in a patriotic fervor as millions of its men fought overseas in World War II. Those remaining on the home front were also doing their part for the war effort. It was in that year that Pacific Mutual employees began donating blood to the American Red Cross.

Housed at the Red Cross facility at 925 S. Western Ave. in Los Angeles, their contributions became known as the Pacific Mutual Blood Bank. By April 1944, the bank had accepted 624 pints of blood from Pacific Mutual employees, including from 100 regular donors.

Of these 100 regulars, four employees—Vincent Mackel, Frances Ott, George Young and Helen Young—distinguished themselves as “Gallon Clubbers,” donating eight pints each.

Ott never thought about what happened to the blood after she donated it, but in 1961 a member of her family whose life was in danger received 17 pints of blood. After this experience, Ott penned a letter to thank fellow Pacific Mutual employees for their continued contributions and to ask other employees to help their communities.

Today, Pacific Life continues to host American Red Cross blood drive events at the home office. The company also makes financial contributions through the Pacific Life Foundation to the American Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund, and in local chapters in Southern California, Nebraska, and Virginia.