2 JULY 2016
Every year at Comic-Con, attendees save lives by donating blood at the Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive - now in its 40th year. Each pint can save up to 3 lives, and we typically donate well over a thousand pints each year. So it's pretty cool to be part of a heroic effort that is the San Diego Blood Bank's longest-running drive.
And it's so easy to participate. You can sign up online or you can sign up at the blood drive booth in the Sails Pavilion. (First-timers, this will make sense when you arrive.) The drive itself is at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, just down the street from the convention center on the other side of the Marriott Marquis. It's a very quick walk. The whole thing usually takes about an hour.
If you've donated before, you know there are a range of travel, medication and other factors which can eliminate you so check here to see if you're eligible. Women, if you tend toward anemia (which has gotten me politely bounced out of a few blood drives) take your iron leading up to the Con.
Just in case the human value angle doesn't persuade you, everyone who donates gets a sweet swag bag that usually has books, a t-shirt and coupons and other stuff; donors also get entered into multiple daily drawings that offer anything from invites to exclusive parties to free books, comics, toys, shirts and other Exhibit Hall merch.
The drive usually takes walk-ins, so if you don't want to commit to a specific time and date, that's fine. But please consider adding this to your SDCC agenda. You can come home knowing your Comic-Con experience included saving someone's life.