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INDIANAPOLIS — This holiday season, the American Red Cross is putting out the call for blood and platelet donors.

Blood donation graphic.Historically low blood supply levels not seen in more than a decade persist for the American Red Cross, which supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood.

The drop in blood and platelet donations comes at a time of year when donations typically fall. Holiday get-togethers, school breaks, and winter weather often lead to lower donor turnout.

If the decline continues, hospitals could be forced to delay essential blood and platelet transfusions for patients, according to the Red Cross.

Potential donors can schedule an appointment now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting the Red Cross website, or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. 

Donors who give blood through Jan. 2 will receive a Red Cross long-sleeved t-shirt.

Those who come to give blood, platelets, or plasma in January will automatically be entered for a chance to win a getaway to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. January blood donors will also be automatically entered to win a home theater package and a $500 e-gift card.

To donate blood, you need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification. Individuals who are 17 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 100 pounds, and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.