Hoosiers are asked to give the gift of life this holiday season by donating blood at the 19th annual Bleed Blue Blood Drive and Holiday Fest.

Each year, the Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Blood Center, part of Versiti, host Indiana’s largest single-day blood drive of the year. The drive ensures that Indiana hospitals can meet patient needs during the holiday season and into 2019.

This year’s drive, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 15 at Lucas Oil Stadium, will again include free, on-field games and activities, tours of the Colts field and locker room, chances to win prizes, big-screen holiday movies “The Elf” and “The Santa Claus” on the 50-yard line and appearances by Colts cheerleaders and Blue, the Colts mascot. Each donor receives a commemorative football bearing the likeness and signature of Colts head coach Frank Reich.

This year’s goal is to collect 1,100 units of blood. Since Bleed Blue’s inception, more than 14,700 people have given more than 13,000 units of blood during the drive. O-negative blood is especially needed now. O-negative donors are universal blood donors, meaning their red blood cells can be transfused to patients with any blood type. O-negative blood is carried on emergency air transport and found in hospital emergency rooms for situations when there is no time to determine a patient’s blood type.

Donating blood takes about an hour. Anyone age 17 or older in good health who meets eligibility requirements is encouraged to give. Parental consent is required for donors age 16 to give. Donors should bring a photo ID that includes their birth date.

Appointments are encouraged but walk-ins are welcome. To schedule an appointment at Bleed Blue, visit www.colts.com/BleedBlue or call Indiana Blood Center at 317-916-5150.

More than 90,000 Indiana residents each year give life-saving blood through the Indiana Blood Center, a non-profit organization founded in 1952 that operates blood centers in Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel, Greenwood, Lafayette and Terre Haute and a community blood drives throughout the state. Part of Versiti, Indiana Blood Center typically collects more than 130,000 units of blood annually and supplies blood to more than 60 Indiana hospitals and beyond. For more, visit Versiti.org/Indiana.

About Indiana Blood Center
Founded in 1952, Indiana Blood Center, part of Versiti, is a non-profit organization and vital community resource dedicated to providing a continuous, safe and adequate supply of blood components and biological services first to people of our own communities, then wherever needed. The center has 350 associates and more than 90,000 Hoosier blood donors. For more, visit Versiti.org/Indiana.