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It can’t be wrapped or placed under a tree, but the perfect gift can help save patient lives this holiday season. The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give the lifesaving gift of a blood donation in December, a time when donations decline but the needs of patients remain steady.

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Barbara Coger will never forget the donors that gave the blood that her husband received during the holidays. “I have been donating blood for some time, but really started encouraging others to do so after my husband received a donation on Christmas Eve,” she said. “He had not been doing well and would not survive much longer, but with that extra boost, he was able to share a big smile with me on Christmas morning, something I will always cherish.”

Donors of all blood types are needed this holiday season to help ensure a sufficient supply for hospital patients. To encourage donations, all those who come to donate Dec. 22, 2016, through Jan. 8, 2017, will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

To make an appointment to give blood, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800- RED CROSS (1-800- 733-2767). Donors are encouraged to make appointments and complete the RapidPass online health history questionnaire at redcrossblood.org/rapidpass to save time when donating.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

  • Senior Citizens Center, 515 Buckeye St. North Vernon, IN 47265
  • 12/20/2016: Noon – 4 p.m.
  • First United Methodist Church, 240 W. Poplar St. North Vernon, IN 47265
  • 12/20/2016: 1 – 6 p.m.
  • Walmart, 2363 Highway 135 N. Corydon, IN 47112
  • 12/20/2016: 2 – 7 p.m.
  • Walmart, 2410 N. Highway 3 North Vernon, IN 47265
  • 12/28/2016: 3 – 7 p.m.