Holiday Carolina Blood Drive celebrates 25th year

Thousands have given blood or volunteered for the annual American Red Cross event, to be held Dec. 7 this year.

A handful of people wearing grey t shirts surround a sign reading
(Johnny Andrews/ UNC-Chapel Hill)

With the holiday season in full swing, Carolina offers the community many ways to serve and lend a helping hand. One such opportunity is the 25th annual Holiday Carolina Blood Drive, hosted Dec. 7 by the Employee Forum and the American Red Cross.

“You feel like you’re doing something that’s good for mankind,” said Dr. Amelia F. Drake, professor of otolaryngology at the UNC School of Medicine and the first person to sign up for this year’s Holiday Carolina Blood Drive.

Based on 2022’s turnout, Drake won’t be alone. Last year, 369 people came to donate blood, nearly a third of them for the first time. Since 1999, the drive has accepted 8,105 donors, who contributed a combined 7,828 units of blood.

Dr. Amelia Drake poses with Carolina Blood Drive shirt.

Dr. Amelia Drake was the first to sign up for 2023’s Holiday blood drive. (submitted photo)

“People are able to give at a time when it’s needed,” Drake said. “It’s a time of year when this kind of donation is the most rewarding.”

Drake also feels that the Holiday Carolina Blood Drive highlights illnesses that most people often ignore.

“We see sickness around us every day, and I appreciate that we can all participate in something that goes to a good cause and do something about it,” Drake said.

Where to register

While the blood drive does accept walk-ups on the day of the event, you can beat the crowds by reserving your donation time. There are still times available at the American Red Cross’ Blood Services site or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800­-733-2767).

Make sure you’re eligible to donate

As the drive approaches, check to make sure you are eligible to give by entering the date of your last donation. This online calculator considers whole blood, power red and platelet donations.

Where to go

This year’s Holiday Carolina Blood Drive is from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 at Fetzer Hall. Free parking is available in Cobb Deck. In addition to free food, donors will also receive a commemorative T-shirt celebrating 25 years of the Holiday Carolina Blood Drive’s commitment to service.

For more details or information on volunteering, visit carolinablooddrive.unc.edu.