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As Blood Supplies Drop, Red Cross Encourages People To Donate

A person wearing purple loves works on a bag of donated blood. Blood vials and a laptop keyboard are also visible.
A Red Cross technician prepares a bag of donated blood at a drive in San Diego.
(Ariana Drehsler
AFP via Getty Images)
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The Red Cross is urging folks to shake up their holiday routine and donate blood through the New Year because of dwindling supply.

Why is there a blood shortage? Amy Papa-Georges from the Red Cross says supply dips during the holiday season because donors are busy traveling.

How bad is it? The Red Cross couldn’t give us a number, but this is a particularly short supply year because of unprecedented travel delays caused by disruptive weather across the country. Emergency rooms and cancer patients receiving transfusions especially need the blood.

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How can I help? Take an hour of your time to give blood at your local Red Cross donation center, which can be found here. The actual blood donation part takes about five to 12 minutes, and they give drinks and snacks afterwards.

If you donate between now and January 2, they will give you a free Red Cross t-shirt while supplies last.

All blood types are needed, but especially O types.

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