Health Care

Hey, y'all! Paula Deen is hosting a blood drive

The Lady & Sons is usually a place to fill up. But Friday it will be a place to give back.

Culinary celeb Paula Deen and her sons, Jamie and Bobby, are teaming with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at the Savannah restaurant.

Donors will receive a signed apron from the Food Network star, a free buffet meal at The Lady & Sons (valid June 24-26 during lunch, dinner or Sunday buffet) and a slice of the restaurant's signature Gooey Butter Cake afterward.

The impetus for the drive came from Jamie Deen, who has been donating blood for the past 25 years, Paula Deen said.

"It's funny because he just started doing it on his own at 18 without my encouragement or anything. He's been doing it faithfully every six months," said his mother, whose rare blood type prohibits her from giving blood herself.

The Red Cross traditionally faces a blood shortage in the summer months due to an increase in outdoor activities and travel that cause an increase in accidents. The southern Blood Services Region, which encompasses Georgia and parts of South Carolina and Florida, requires about 1,200 blood donations daily to maintain a supply for its 120 local hospitals.

"Especially with all the natural disasters recently, we're reminded that you never know when you're going to need some of that blood," Deen said. "Anything we can do to help."

Men or women age 17 or older, or 16 with parental consent, who weigh more than 110 pounds are eligible to donate. Donors younger than 18 also must meet specific height and weight requirements.