Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, more than 1 million units of blood could be transfused in the United States. Individuals are urged to give a lifesaving gift this holiday season by making an appointment to donate blood or platelets and help the American Red Cross ensure a sufficient supply is available for patients throughout the holiday season. Those with type O blood are especially needed.

How blood donation impacts lives

On Sept. 28, 2018, MaKenzie Schienebeck experienced a complication during her pregnancy and found herself losing blood extremely fast. She was in and out of consciousness and felt her life slipping away. Schienebeck was given blood transfusions on the way to the hospital, during emergency surgery and after surgery. “I would not be alive today if it was not for the American Red Cross and the gracious donors who gave their blood,” said Schienebeck. “Blood is more than just blood. It’s the key to saving lives.”

During the holiday season, set aside an hour to give blood and be the lifeline patients need. Make an appointment now by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

In thanks for helping meet the urgent need, those who come to give blood or platelets now through Dec. 18 will receive a $5 Amazon.com gift card via email, courtesy of Suburban Propane. (Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Thanks).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in Shelton are Friday, Dec. 6, from 1-6 p.m., at Shelton Community Center, 41 Church St; Tuesday, Dec. 10, 8 a.m.-1:45 p.m., R.D. Scinto Towers, 2 Corporate Dr.; and Tuesday, Dec. 24, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Hewitt Health & Rehab Center, 45 Maltby St.