3M's Nexcare bandages unit is linking arms with supermodel Niki Taylor and the American Red Cross to launch its fourth annual Nexcare "Give" blood donation program this month.

Nexcare, perhaps the best- known consumer brand from 3M's health care division, is pulling on some new star power to encourage people to give blood.

Niki Taylor, a Red Cross spokesperson and mother of four, joined Nexcare's 2012 "Give" program to educate people about the ongoing need for blood donation.

Taylor became interested in raising awareness about blood donation after she received 100 units of blood after a near-fatal car accident in 2001. She attributes her survival to blood donors and doctors.

Being associated with Taylor's powerful story may help Nexcare spread its own message.

The 3M division makes consumer health care products sold in retail drugstores, such as bandages, adhesive tape, thermometers, face masks and lotions and ointments that treat cold sores and cracked skin. The health care unit brings in $5 billion a year in sales for 3M.

Dee DePass • 612-673-7725