Blood Drive

Comic-Con’s Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive returns for its 45th year in 2021 with a 38-day blood drive for Comic-Con@home.

We are San Diego Blood Bank’s largest and longest-running blood drive. Last year we collected 8,872 pints of blood over our 26-day blood drive, our biggest year ever. 

The growth of our blood drive over the years has been absolutely phenomenal. The Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive began at San Diego Comic-Con back in 1977.  That first year, 148 pints of blood were collected, and as the convention has grown, so has our blood drive. 

Over the past 44 years 34,822 pints of blood have been donated by Comic-Con attendees, exhibitors, pros, volunteers, and staff! San Diego Blood Bank estimates that your donations have impacted more than 104 thousand lives over the course of those 44 years!! 

Please join us for the 45th Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive July 23rd through August 29th.  Your donations are desperately needed. 

Make your appointment at any one of these 9 San Diego Blood Bank Donor Center locations…

San Diego County

SAN DIEGO BLOOD BANK GATEWAY DONOR CENTER 
3636 Gateway Center Avenue, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 400-8251  

CARMEL VALLEY DONOR CENTER 
3880 Valley Center Drive, Suite 210 
San Diego, CA 92130
Located behind the Market Grill in Piazza Carmel Shopping Center 
(619) 400-8251  

COASTAL DONOR CENTER 
1910 Via Centre 
Vista, CA 92081
(619) 400-8251  

EAST COUNTY DONOR CENTER 
776 Arnele Avenue 
El Cajon, CA 92020
(619) 400-8251  

LIBERTY STATION DONATION LOCATION 
2445 Truxtun Road, Historic Building 27
Suite 205 
San Diego, CA 92106
Near Panera Bread in Liberty Station
(619) 400-8251
 

 

NORTH COUNTY DONOR CENTER 
358 West El Norte Parkway, Suite J
Escondido, CA 92026
(619) 400-8251  

SABRE SPRINGS DONOR CENTER 
12640 Sabre Springs Parkway, Suite 109 
San Diego, CA 92128
(619) 400-8251 

SOUTH BAY DONATION LOCATION 
300 East H St., Suite 1001
Chula Vista, CA 91910
Inside Terra Nova Plaza next to Marshalls
(619) 400-8251 

Orange County

HOAG HEALTH CENTER LOCATION
16405 Sand Canyon Avenue, Suite 280
Irvine, CA 92618
(844) 380-5220
 

…appointments can also be made for bloodmobile locations around San Diego County and select bloodmobile locations in Orange County. 

Appointments are required (No Walk-ins)
Make your appointment now at https://www.mysdbb.org/donor/schedules/centers
-or call(619) 400-8251. Only a limited number of appointments are available!

DON’T DELAY!    MAKE YOUR APPOINTMENT TODAY!

DONORS!  Comic-Con’s group code:  CCON


Robert A. Heinlein

Robert A. Heinlein at San Diego Comic-Con in 1977.

Photo by Jackie Estrada

- See more at: http://www.comic-con.org/wca/blood-drive#sthash.Q7wmU9tZ.dpuf

Robert A. Heinlein at San Diego Comic-Con in 1977.

Photo by Jackie Estrada

- See more at: http://www.comic-con.org/wca/blood-drive#sthash.Q7wmU9tZ.dpuf

Robert A. Heinlein at Comic-Con in 1977

Photo by Jackie Estrada

A Brief History of Comic-Con International's Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive

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 onto 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."