The American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood donors to give now to ensure blood is available for medical treatments and emergencies during the holiday season.

Blood donations often decline during the holidays. Regular donors are busy with holiday activities, and travel and severe winter weather may cause blood drive cancellations. Yet donations remain critical for patients like 4-year-old Wyatt Monacelli who is in the midst of intense chemotherapy treatments for leukemia. He has received a number of transfusions since his diagnosis in June and will likely need more.

“We are fortunate to have had so many donors give the gift of life to our child so far throughout the course of his treatment, and even more so, we are lucky to have had a supply of blood available for him when he needed it,” said Julianna Monacelli, Wyatt’s mother.

Donors are urged to give now to ensure that families like Wyatt’s don’t have to worry about the availability of blood this winter. In thanks for helping meet the urgent need around the holidays, all those who come to donate blood now through December 19, 2018, will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email.

Locally, donors will have the opportunity to give blood on Thursday, December 13th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Scotland County Hospital.

Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Another way to help keep the blood supply strong is to host a Red Cross blood drive this winter. To learn more about hosting a blood drive and to sign up, visit RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.