PORTLAND — The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood before the holiday season.

Blood donations often decline from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day when holiday festivities pull people away from their donation appointments. This often causes a drop in the blood available for patients. Donations are needed in the weeks leading up to the holidays to help offset this seasonal decline.

Blood donor Kathy Steckly Neuschwander’s father gave blood for years. She always saw him wear his pin when he reached his next gallon — about 12 gallons total. When he was diagnosed with leukemia, she and her family learned firsthand how important blood donations could be around the holidays, according to a Red Cross news release.

“He passed away in 1994 from leukemia and needed a blood transfusion so we could have one more Thanksgiving together,” Steckly said in the release. “My brother and sister were able to come home from the East Coast for this. I can now say I am wearing his three-gallon pin.”

Donors with all blood types are needed, and especially those with types O negative, B negative, A negative and AB blood. To make an appointment to donate blood, download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App from app stores, visit redcrossblood.org or call 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767). Donors can use the Blood Donor App to access their donor card and view vital signs from previous donations.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Androscoggin County

Auburn: Nov. 4, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Edward Little High School, 77 Harris St.

Lewiston: Nov. 9, 7 a.m.-noon, Saint Marys Regional Medical Center, 99 Campus Ave.

Lisbon Falls: Nov. 4, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Lisbon High School, 2 Sugg Drive

Cumberland County

Brunswick: Nov. 7, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Shaws Supermarket, 147 Bath Road

Cumberland Center: Nov. 14, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Cumberland Community, 282 Main St.

Gorham: Nov. 7, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Life Church, Life Church, 8 Elkins Road

New Gloucester: Nov. 4, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Pineland Farms, 59 Pineland Drive

Portland: Nov. 11: 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Memic, 261 Commercial St.

Nov. 5, Noon-6 p.m., University of New England Westbrook Finley Center, 716 Stevens Ave.

Standish: Nov. 2, 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Bonny Eagle High School, 700 Saco Road

Westbrook: Nov. 11, 1-6 p.m., Westbrook Community Center, 426 Bridge St.

Kennebec County

Augusta: Nov. 12, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Maine Army National Guard Drill Deck, 179 Western Ave.

Nov. 2, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Kennebec County Sheriffs Office, 125 State St.

Nov. 6, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., MaineGeneral Medical Center, 35 Medical Center Parkway.

Nov. 8, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Lowes Augusta, 53 Crossing Way.

Waterville: Nov. 13, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., MaineGeneral Medical Center, 149 North St.

York County

Buxton: Nov. 10, 1-6 p.m., Buxton Town Hall, 185 Portland Road.

Kittery: Nov. 14, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Kittery Trading Post, 301 U.S. Route 1.

Saco: Nov. 4, 1:30-6:30 p.m., Gov John Fairfield School, 75 Beach St.

Sanford: Nov. 14, 8 a.m.-noon, Sanford Elks Lodge, 13 Elm St.

South Berwick: Nov. 12, 1-6 p.m., Marshwood High School, 260 Route 236.

York: Nov. 5, 1-6 p.m., Saint Aspinquid Masonic Hall, 101 Long Sands Road.

Nov. 9, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Stonewall Kitchen, 2 Stonewall Lane.

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.


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