A guide to donating blood in the Sarasota-Manatee area
Donation truck with "please give blood" in print on the side.

A guide to donating blood in the Sarasota-Manatee area

Generous individuals looking to donate blood, look no further. In case students missed the blood drive held Oct. 2 on campus,  the Catalyst presents a list of local blood drives in the greater Sarasota-Manatee area. But first, a bit of background: There is always a need for donations, especially after Hurricane Idalia devastated the Big Bend. All blood types are needed and any donations are appreciated. There are four main blood types: A, B, AB and O. The presence of a protein called the Rh Factor determines whether the blood type is positive or negative, which can be tested after donations are made. There are also multiple types of blood donations: whole blood, platelets, power red cells and plasma.

Whole blood is often approximately a pint of blood. This blood is taken and then processed, separating the components to donate to individuals in need. The donation process takes about 30 minutes and can be done every 56 days.

There is a specific need for platelets, which are small cell fragments found in blood that help to clot and prevent bleeding. These cells are extremely valuable to those who are fighting cancer, burn victims and those who are facing other life-threatening situations. During this type of donation, a machine collects platelets and some plasma while the red blood cells and most of the plasma are filtered back into the donor.

A power red blood cell donation is also known as a double red blood cell donation. This type of donation allows the donor to provide twice the amount of red blood cells in half the time. Using the same machine used for platelets donations, the blood is drawn and the red blood cells are filtered out before the platelets and plasma are returned to the donor.

Organizations such as OneBlood and SunCoast Blood are popular places to donate, as they often hold mobile drives in various locations. They also offer a variety of promotional incentives. Here are the upcoming blood drives provided by those organizations:


Appointments at donor centers can be made online at any time. However, blood drives have specific locations and dates. OneBlood offers a free wellness check up for every donation. This includes blood pressure, pulse, temperature, iron count and cholesterol screening.

Multiple Chili’s Grill & Bar locations will be hosting blood drives. On Oct. 6, the Chili’s located at 3715 1st St in Bradenton  will be hosting from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Another drive will be hosted at the Chili’s located at 6010 US Hwy 301 N in Ellenton from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. that day. On Oct. 8, the Chili’s located at 5851 Bee Ridge Rd in Sarasota from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Donors will receive a free Chili’s appetizer coupon, a OneBlood Halloween T-shirt and a free $20 eGift Card. Appointments can be made here.

On Oct. 10, the Bealls located at 501 North Beneva Road in Sarasota will be holding a drive from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. All donors will receive a free $20 Bealls gift card. Appointments for this drive can be made here.

On Oct. 15, the Culver’s located at 2605 University Pkwy in Sarasota  will host a blood drive from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This drive will offer donor’s a free pint of Culver’s Frozen Custard, free OneBlood merchandise and a free $20 eGift Card. Appointments for this drive can be made here.

Various Wawa gas stations in the area will be hosting blood drives from Oct. 16 through Oct. 20. These drives will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and will provide donors with a free $20 Wawa gift card. Appointments for this drive can be made here.

On Oct. 20, a blood drive will be held at Golden Corral located at 5525 Cortez Rd in Bradenton. This drive is from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and features several promotional items such as a free Golden Corral Lunch Buffet, a free OneBlood T-Shirt and a $20 eGift Card. Make an appointment for this drive here.


Donations to SunCoast go back to the Sarasota Manatee community. Appointments for the following drives can be made here.

On Oct. 5, the Publix located at 2875 University Pkwy in Sarasota from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

On Oct. 7, there will be a mobile drive located at the Walmart at 8320 Lockwood Ridge Rd in Sarasota from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

On Oct. 10, the Sam’s Club 70 on 5300 30th St E in Bradenton from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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