Press Releases

San Diego Blood Bank Marks 70th Anniversary with Limited-Edition T-Shirts for Donors

SAN DIEGO (September 18, 2020) San Diego Blood Bank marks its 70th anniversary by kicking off a 3-part commemorative t-shirt collection for blood donors.

Anyone who donates blood at any San Diego Blood Bank donation location or mobile drive between September 18 – October 2 will receive a limited-edition San Diego Blood Bank 70th Anniversary “Celebrating the Past” T-shirt (while supplies last). This shirt, designed by a local artist and blood donor, will be the first in a series of t-shirts to be released this year.

Founded on September 11, 1950, San Diego Blood Bank has been serving our community for seven decades. In partnership with our community, San Diego Blood Bank ensures a safe blood supply to the region and supports a variety of wellness and research initiatives related to cancer, regenerative medicine and more. We distribute more than 150,000 blood products annually.

Historical photos found here.

Highlights of 70 years:

  • As the country stood still on Sept 11, 2001, San Diego Blood Bank cleared its shelves and sent 380 pints of blood to New York City with the help of the United States Navy. Blood from local donors was the first to arrive on the scene that same day. On that day and in the days that followed, donors lined up to give blood, many waiting in line for several hours. By the end of the week, more than 3,000 people had donated.
  • San Diego Blood Bank has been serving Sharp HealthCare since 1954.
  • SDBB supported the early development of open-heart surgery in San Diego in the 1960s. At that time, several pints of blood were necessary just to prime heart-lung machines.
  • SDBB responded to a request by the Department of Defense for weekly blood shipments during Operation Desert Storm in 1991
  • San Diego Chargers Blood Drive set the first Guinness World Record for “largest single-day, single-location blood drive” for surpassing 1,853 donations. By 1998, the Chargers Drive had increased collections 38% with a record of 2,549 donations.
  • San Diego Blood Bank had collected more than 3,500,000 blood donations from volunteer blood donors.

See full timeline here.

“We thought this would be a unique opportunity for donors to celebrate our anniversary with us” said David Wellis, CEO, San Diego Blood Bank. “We are proud of 70 years of Saving Lives Today and Improving Life Tomorrow and look forward to the next 70 years.”

To make an appointment or financial donation, visit SanDiegoBloodBank.org. Donors must be 17 years or older, weigh a minimum of 114 pounds and be in general good health.

About San Diego Blood Bank

SDBB is dedicated to community health by providing a reliable supply of blood to patients in need. Our vision is to further ensure the health of our community by simultaneously delivering related health and wellness education and services and extending into research. SDBB is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit that serves hospitals in San Diego, Orange, Imperial and Los Angeles counties with blood transfusion products and reference laboratory services. SDBB currently operates six local donor centers and 10 bloodmobiles. SDBB’s Cell Therapy Program provides lifesaving stem cell transplants to patients worldwide. For more information about SDBB, visit www.SanDiegoBloodBank.org or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.