Nonprofit blood services provider Vitalant has scheduled several blood drives in Santa Barbara County during January, which is National Blood Donor Month.
To help increase lifesaving blood donations, starting Dec. 26, all donors will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a trip to the big game valued at over $27,000. Complete details and rules can be found at vitalant.org/biggame.
It takes donors of all blood types to meet all patients’ needs, Vitalant noted.
Type O blood and platelets are most urgently needed, according to Vitalant. Type O can be used for most of the population and platelets.
There is no waiting period to donate after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine or seasonal flu shot. Recent FDA changes have also increased the number of eligible donors. Over half the population is eligible to give, but Vitalant said fewer than 3% actually do.
Upcoming blood drives include:
— 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Jan. 3 at the Marian Regional Medical Center, 1400 E. Church St., Santa Maria.
— 1 to 5 p.m. Jan. 5 at the Lompoc Police Department, 107 Civic Center Plaza, Lompoc.
— 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, 4436 Calle Real, Santa Barbara.
— 2-5:30 p.m. Jan. 19 at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara, 524 Chapala St., Santa Barbara.
— 2 to 6 p.m. Jan. 24 at Camino Real Marketplace, 7046 Marketplace Drive, Goleta.
— 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 25 at Allan Hancock College, 800 S. College, Santa Maria.
Donors can also give at either the Santa Barbara donation center at 4213 State St. or at the Vitalant Santa Maria donation center at 1770 S. Broadway. Vitalant said there’s an urgent need for donations.
For more information, go to vitalant.org.