CSRA (WJBF) – As more people make travel plans to celebrate with family and friends this year, the American Red Cross asks donors to set aside a time to give blood or platelets for patients waiting for care over the holidays.

Throughout the season, several factors can disrupt the ability of the Red Cross to collect enough blood for patients across the country.

  • Travel: According to a recent study, nearly half of Americans plan to travel over the holidays this year, which may negatively impact the blood supply if fewer people come out to donate.
  • Seasonal illness: The U.S. is seeing a rise in respiratory illnesses like the flu and RSV, which can decrease the availability of healthy donors.
  • Weather: Parts of the country have already seen storms bring several feet of snow this year. Winter weather often leads to hazardous road conditions, canceling blood drives and making it dangerous for donors to venture out to give.

It’s important for donors − especially type O blood donors and platelet donors − to give now to ensure hospitals have the blood they need through the end of the year.

Schedule an appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

As a thank-you, all who come to give blood through Dec. 15 will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon.

Those who come to give Dec. 16-Jan. 2 will get a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Dec. 7-31

North Augusta

12/7/2022: 3 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1704 Bunting Drive

Graniteville:

12/16/2022: 12:30 p.m. – 5 p.m., Aiken County YMCA, 621 Trolley Line Road

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McCormick

12/22/2022: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m., Savannah Lakes Village, 385 Country Club Drive

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

For more information, visit Redcross.org.