SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - The holidays can be a very busy time of year, causing a lot of things to suffer - including the need for blood.
"A lot of people don't think about stopping and slowing down to donate blood," said Red Cross Account Director Denise Smith. "They think they're too busy."
According to the American Red Cross, someone is in need of blood every two seconds. During the holiday season that need increases.
"There are more accidents. There are more things that happen, so it just makes it even more important for us to collect that," said Smith.
Both local and national blood supplies are at critical levels as 2016 comes to a close.
"There are things that throughout the summer time have put us at critical need. When we had Hurricane Matthew, all of those shootings that happened in Orlando, in Texas, in Louisiana. Those things actually take away from the national blood supply," Smith added.
In the time it takes to window shop for a gift this Christmas, donors can give the best gift of all.
"Think about if a family member of yours was in an accident or if they were sick and they needed that blood, wouldn't you take the time - even if it's 45 minutes to an hour - to make sure that they had the blood that they needed," Smith said.
To find out where to donate, visit www.redcross.org.