Free movie tickets help draw blood donors, but need is still urgent

A tie-in with “The Amazing Spider-Man” helped the Red Cross draw dozens of blood donors this week, but the need is still great, the organization said.

As part of a push to increase donor numbers, the Red Cross sponsored blood drives at AmStar 16 Cinemas in Macon and at Houston Lake Stadium Cinemas and Galleria 15 Cinemas in Houston County. More than 100 people got a free movie ticket when they donated.

Summer months are always a challenge to get people to donate blood, and that’s the case now, said Kristen Kiefer, a donor recruitment representative. The organization collected about 50,000 fewer pints nationwide in June than it expected, and it has about half the amount of blood in its inventory this week that it did a year ago.

It’s especially hard to get donors in during holiday weeks, said Brian Fern, another donor representative.

People get busy or are on vacation with their family, he said, and they don’t feel like they have time to give blood.

“It would be nice if everything that required getting blood took holidays as well, but it doesn’t,” he said.

Low blood donor numbers are most likely to cause elective surgeries to be delayed or canceled, Kiefer said.

She urged Middle Georgia residents to give blood, saying a friend or family member might end up needing it.

“It’s an hour of your time. It’s a small price to pay,” she said.

The Red Cross blood donation center is located at 3755 Bloomfield Road in Macon and is open Monday through Saturday most weeks.

Anyone looking for a blood drive in their area can go to and find the drive closest to them.

To contact writer Liz Bibb, call 744-4425.