The Lady & Sons has become known for its down-home Southern cooking from its star owner Paula Deen. But it's also becoming known for something else, too.
Since last year, The Lady & Sons has hosted three American Red Cross blood drives. The drives have become so successful that they've expanded them to three locations in Savannah. The fourth drive will be held at The Lady & Sons, Inn at Ellis Square and Uncle Bubba's Oyster House on Friday. Participants will get a $40 gift card, a signed apron and a slice of gooey butter cake afterward.
"We need to keep that blood flowing into the banks, especially during this time of year," Deen said. "Summer is so critical."
The Red Cross traditionally faces a blood shortage during the summer months due to an increase in travel and outdoor activity that causes more accidents.
About 1,200 blood donations are needed daily in the Red Cross' Southern region to keep up with demand.
The idea for the blood drives at The Lady & Sons came from one of Deen's two sons, Jamie. He first gave blood at age 18 and for the past 25 years has donated about every six months.
Deen cannot donate because of her rare blood type. (Deen also is diabetic, but that would not forbid her from donating. Diabetics who are on insulin or oral medications still are eligible to donate, according to the Red Cross.)
Deen still plans on attending the drive, however, offering some pep to the lines of people willing to donate.
"I'll be flying in from Los Angeles that morning," she said. "So I'll be the goofy one walking around on no sleep."