CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – In a report from the American Red Cross, they stated that due to the potential impact of seasonal illnesses, including the flu, they are urging people to donate blood.

Seasonal illnesses and busy holiday schedules decrease the number of healthy donors, which can lead to a blood shortage over the holidays.

Those who wish to donate must check-in using a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification. The individual must also be at least 17 years of age in most states, 16 with parental consent in some states, weigh at least 110 pounds and is in generally good health.

“High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements,” said the Red Cross.

As an incentive, donors will see a number of bonuses this month, including:

  • All who come to give Nov. 1-22 will receive a $10 e-gift card to a merchant of choice. Details are available at rcblood.org/perks.
  • Those who come to give over the Thanksgiving holiday, Nov. 23-27, will get a Red Cross knit beanie, while supplies last.
  • All who come out to help Nov. 28-Dec. 15 will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon. Details are available at rcblood.org/together.

To schedule your appointment, you can use the Red Cross Blood Donor App by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-733-2767 or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Blood and platelet donors can also save time by using RapidPass® to “complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive” by going to RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or using the Blood Donor App.

Those who wish to volunteer can become a blood donor ambassador, someone who greets, checks-in and thanks blood donors, at Red Cross blood drives, or they can serve as transportation specialists and help deliver blood products to nearby hospitals.