Comic-Con’s Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive, San Diego Blood Bank’s largest and longest-running blood drive, returns for a second time in our record-breaking 45th year for Special Edition with donation areas located in the Marina Ballroom at the downtown Marriott Marquis Hotel, and at San Diego Blood Bank Donation Centers.
The growth of our blood drive over the years has been phenomenal. The Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive began at San Diego Comic-Con back in 1977, at the El Cortez Hotel. That first year, 148 pints of blood were collected, and as the convention has grown, so has our blood drive. Earlier this year we collected 12,894 pints of blood over our 38-day @home blood drive, our most successful blood drive ever. In our long history, a total of 47,716 pints of blood have been donated by Comic-Con attendees, exhibitors, professionals, volunteers, and staff! San Diego Blood Bank estimates that your donations have impacted more than 143,000 lives over the course of our 45 years!
San Diego Blood Bank (SDBB) recently issued an urgent call for blood donations, as supply across the country has reached dangerously low levels. SDBB’s average monthly supply of O-positive blood is the lowest it’s been in over a decade. Blood centers across the country are experiencing an abnormal decline in donor turnout due to the recent COVID-19 case surge. All types of blood are needed, but SDBB is critically low on O-positive blood.
Please join Comic-Con and San Diego Blood Bank for part two of the 45th Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive. Your donations are desperately needed and will save countless lives.
There are two ways to donate!
1. If you have a valid Comic-Con badge, you can make an appointment either online at the links below, or at the Blood Drive Prize Booth on the exhibit floor. Donors will receive a free T-shirt plus other goodies and have a chance to win one of many prizes donated by our exhibitors. Appointments are required for donations at the Marriott, no walk-ins will be accepted. Only a limited number of appointments are available at this site.
Appointment links for badged donors at the Marriott Marquis:
- Friday, November 26: Click Here to schedule your appointment
- Saturday, November 27: Click Here to schedule your appointment
- Sunday, November 28: Click Here to schedule your appointment
2. If you do not have a valid Comic-Con badge, you can still make an appointment to donate at any one of San Diego Blood Bank’s eight Donation Centers or mobile drives. Donors will receive a free T-shirt and other goodies (while supplies last). Appointments are required and will be honored first, but walk-ins are welcome. Only a limited number of appointments are available!
Friday, November 26 through Sunday, December 12: Click Here to schedule your appointment
San Diego Blood Bank Donor Center Locations
SAN DIEGO BLOOD BANK GATEWAY DONOR CENTER
3636 Gateway Center Avenue, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92102
CARMEL VALLEY DONOR CENTER
3880 Valley Center Drive, Suite 210
San Diego, CA 92130
Located behind the Market Grill in Piazza Carmel Shopping Center
COASTAL DONOR CENTER
1910 Via Centre
Vista, CA 92081
EAST COUNTY DONOR CENTER
776 Arnele Avenue
El Cajon, CA 92020
LIBERTY STATION DONATION LOCATION
2850 Womble Rd. Building 30
San Diego, CA 92106
Located across from the fountain, between Yoga Six and Ikiru Sushi
NORTH COUNTY DONOR CENTER
358 West El Norte Parkway, Suite J
Escondido, CA 92026
SABRE SPRINGS DONOR CENTER
12640 Sabre Springs Parkway, Suite 109
San Diego, CA 92128
SOUTH BAY DONATION LOCATION
300 East H St., Suite 1001
Chula Vista, CA 91910
Inside Terra Nova Plaza next to Marshalls
Or at any SAN DIEGO COUNTY MOBILE DRIVES
DON’T DELAY! MAKE YOUR APPOINTMENT TODAY!
Comic-Con’s group code: CCON
For science fiction fans, few names were as stellar as Robert A. Heinlein. From Star Ship Troopers to Stranger in a Strange Land, Heinlein was the dean of SF writers. Unfortunately, he rarely attended conventions, so his readers had few opportunities to meet the master in person.
Then in the early 1970s, Heinlein had a life-threatening illness and needed many pints of a rare blood type. He felt he owed his life to the donors, so when asked to be a guest at the 1976 World Con in his hometown of Kansas City, he agreed-but with one specific stipulation: that he would only sign autographs for people who donated blood.
Thus, longtime Comic-Con committee member Jackie Estrada approached the author with an offer to hold a blood drive in San Diego if he would consent to being a guest. He agreed, and in 1977 Heinlein came to Comic-Con. He and his wife, Ginny, had a great time and Heinlein even drew a picture for the Sunday morning Art Auction.
"David Scroggy [who went on to be a VP at Dark Horse Comics before he retired] was the first blood drive coordinator," recalls Estrada. "We also had Theodore Sturgeon there signing his book, Some of Your Blood, which he gave to all of the blood donors. We also had entertainment for the people while they were [donating blood]. I remember that Leslie Cabarga played the piano, C. C. Beck played the guitar. It was a very fun event and Robert was delighted. We've had the blood drive every year since."