Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - NewsChannel 9 and the Red Cross are teaming up for the annual Holiday Heroes Blood Drive.
The campaign began early Wednesday morning at Destiny USA in the Lord and Taylor wing of the shopping center.
The blood donation process takes about 45 minutes for registration, screening, and the drawing. Each donation can save up to three lives.
“It’s a chance for people to give something that means something,” said Robert Cotter of the American Red Cross. “It’s a Holiday Heroes blood drive to come and donate blood.”
People like Dustin Phillips are aware of how important even one pint of blood is. Phillips grew up with heart problems. He depends on blood donations to survive.
On Wednesday, he had an opportunity to contribute.
"It’s really not that bad, sometimes I do what's called plasma donations and that takes two hours but this is real easy. It only took me 20 minutes,” Phillips said.
Retired Army serviceman Ray Daw takes the mission to heart.
"It’s great to do stuff for people especially this time of year, especially with all the tragedies that have happened around the world. It makes you responsible and makes you want to help in some way,” Daw said.
His donation, along with hundreds more, will stay right here in Central New York to help those who need it most.
“It goes to local hospitals we have contracts with the hospitals and we provide them with all the blood that is need in Central New York,” Cotter said.
Red Cross volunteers will be at Destiny USA until 7 p.m. on Monday night.
The drive will continue daily through New Years Eve.
The blood drive will be held through December 31 on the first level of Destiny USA, near Lord & Taylor. Hours are as follows
- Wednesday -- 7am-7pm
- Thursday-Saturday -- 9am-5pm
- Sunday-Monday -- 10am-4pm
To pre-register, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or log onto redcrossblood.org