PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - Christmas may be over, and all of the presents are unwrapped, but you still have time to give another gift: The gift of life!
"It's a Christmas gift. We get busy but this is something that we feel that we should do, so," said blood donor Robert Zeller.
Bloodmobiles will be a common sight across the Mississippi Gulf Coast through the new year as blood donations are in high demand. Donating takes less than an hour to do, and can save up to three lives.
"Three lives from just donating one time? I did not know that. That's good then, that's a good thing. I should give more often," said blood donor Lisa Ladner.
The American Red Cross says winter months often mean a drop in blood donations. With many people getting sick or focusing their time towards the holidays, blood banks are desperate for healthy donors.
"Yeah they called me and made the appointment, so it's important. I guess they need it right now too, they're in desperate need. I don't know if they said it's critical, but they said it's really desperate," replied Ladner.
The need for blood, especially O-type, is extremely critical. Nationally, the Red Cross has to collect nearly 14,000 blood donations every day for patients in need. So the more donors that step up, the better.
"It doesn't take long and it doesn't hurt, so... People would think it would hurt but it really doesn't. I hate needles, and it doesn't hurt," said Ladner.
If you want to make a difference one last time before the year is over, all you have to do is roll up your sleeve for a person in need. The WLOX Holiday Blood Drive will take place at Edgewater Mall December 28-29 from noon to 7pm, and December 30 from 10am to 4pm.