As many prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving and look ahead at a busy holiday season, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors across the country to harness their humanity by giving blood in the coming weeks.

As a result of low blood donor turnout in recent months, the Red Cross is heading into the holidays with its lowest blood supply in more than a decade at this time of year. The ongoing effects of COVID-19 and a summer spike in delta variant cases significantly challenged the nation’s blood supply heading into the fall. The pandemic also resulted in fewer blood drives at schools and colleges, contributing to a 34% drop in new blood donors from last year − one of the largest year-to-year decreases and one that could threaten essential medical care for patients. Locally, the Minnesota and Dakotas Red Cross Region has experienced a 25% decrease in new blood donors this year.

Make an appointment to give blood as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-733-2767.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities 

Cannon Falls

Tuesday, Dec. 7 — 2 to 7 p.m., St Pius V Catholic Church, 410 W Colville

Faribault

Monday, Dec. 6 — 1 to 7 p.m., Church of St. Patrick - Shieldsville, 7525 Dodd Road

Friday, Dec. 10 — 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Faribault Fire Department, 122 Second St. NW

Sunday, Dec. 12 — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Elks Lodge, 131 Lyndale Ave. N

Kenyon

Monday, Dec. 6 — 1 to 7 p.m., St. Michaels Catholic Church, 108 Bullis St.

Northfield

Friday. Nov. 26 — 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., St. Peter's Lutheran Church, 418 Sumner St. E

Saturday, Nov. 27 — 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Trinity Lutheran Church, 803 Winona St.

Monday, Dec. 6 — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Culver's, 960 Hwy. 3 S

Red Wing

Thursday, Dec. 2 — 1 to 7 p.m., First Lutheran Church, 615 W Fifth St.

Friday, Dec. 3 — 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., First Lutheran Church, 615 W Fifth St.

Thursday, Dec. 16 — Noon to 5 p.m., National Guard Armory, 885 E Seventh St.

Welch

Tuesday, Dec. 14 — 1 to 7 p.m., Treasure Island Resort & Casino, 5734 Sturgeon Lake

Wednesday, Dec. 15 — 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Treasure Island Resort & Casino, 5734 Sturgeon Lake Rd

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