American Red Cross needs volunteers to give blood during season of giving

The American Red Cross supplies 44 percent of the nation's blood supply.

But they say that supply is getting low and they need donations of all blood types.

While you're thinking about those folks on your Christmas gift list, the American Red Cross is asking you to not forget about giving the gift of life.

"It's all coming from one person's arm to another," said Barry Porter. "It's a very personal gift. When people think about the holiday season, what more personal gift can you give them.. a personal part of yourself to help save or sustain a life."

Porter is the CEO of the Eastern North Carolina region of the Red Cross.

He says every 2 seconds someone gets a blood transfusion due to an accident, illness or injury.

Each month, the organization needs an average of about 7,000 donors. But during the winter, donations decline as donors pivot to the holidays.

The Red Cross asking for all blood types, but are in high need of O-negative and O-positive.

"Coming to a blood donation site is a very safe process," said Porter.

Donation stations will be cleaned frequently.

Donors will be temperature checked and face coverings will be provided to everyone.

Right now, men who have had sex with men over the past three months will not be able to donate.

The restriction used to be 12 months.

"There's some positive movement. We have to follow our licensing/licensure by them is regulated. All blood collection agencies must follow those FDA guidelines," said Porter.

The Human Rights Campaign would like to see that restriction expanded to include heterosexual people who have multiple sex partners.

Go to redcrossblood.org for details on where you can donate.

Those who donate between Dec. 18 and Jan. 4 will receive a free long-sleeve American Red Cross t-shirt.
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