AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – It’s giving season. And there’s at least one thing you can give to others without emptying your pockets.

This time of year, experts say the need for blood donations increases. That’s why they say giving blood can be the greatest gift of all. 

With the holidays upon us, people are busy. And blood donations are falling off. At the same time, blood donations are needed now more than ever.

“It’s such an important time to donate blood in this nation because we’re facing a tremendous shortage across the United States,” said Dr. Mike Varshavski, a board certified family medicine doctor and YouTube star. “We actually need blood or blood product every two seconds in this nation.”

Dr. Mike says that a blood donation helps people enduring traumas, transplant surgeries, cancer treatments and more. 

“Knowing that just by making one donation, you can save up to three lives is truly an incredible and rewarding experience,” said Dr. Mike.

Doctors say you can become a recurring donor and donate up to six times a year, multiplying the number of lives you impact.

In the CSRA, Shepeard Community Blood Center is offering a delicious incentive to interested donors.

“This year, we are giving donors a free turkey or ham when they donate with us,” said Renita Carroll, Director of Community Resources at Shepherd Community Blood Center. “Either in one of our centers or with one of our mobile drives.”

Carroll says that blood donated at Shepeard has a huge local impact. 

“Blood donated here at Shepeard does save local lives,” said Carroll. “And we support 29 hospitals here in the CSRA.”

She says that simply rolling up your sleeve can give the gift of life this holiday season. 

“Nationwide, statistically, in any blood center there is typically a decrease during the holidays just because people are traveling,” said Carroll. “People are on the roads more, there are more traumas. So because of that, you have a need for blood donations increasing but donors decreasing.”

You can donate blood at any of Shepeard’s locations or at any of their mobile units. For more information on how you can help save a life, visit https://www.shepeardblood.org/.