VA Red Cross seeing drop in blood donations amid holiday season

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) – As the days get shorter and the holiday season amps up, the Virginia Red Cross said they are already beginning to see the number of blood donors drop.

As numbers drop, the Red Cross said they see an increase in demand for blood this time of year.

“Blood does not take a vacation over the holiday season,” Jonatha McNamara, communication director for the Red Cross said. “In fact, we actually see an increase in demand for blood as more people hit the roadways and travel throughout the holiday season.”

The Red Cross is adding incentives at its blood drives to help bring in more holiday cheer and encourage people to donate.

“A $10 Amazon gift card we’re also giving away some holiday-themed special edition T-shirts at our drives,” McNamara said.

As the colder weather starts to trickle in, many people tend to get sick this time of year as well, which also impacts blood donations.

“We’re starting to see a real noticeable increase in flu cases starting to affect the number of eligible donors across the state of Virginia and that’s before we get into the busy holiday travel season where we always see a reduction in the number of people showing up for our drives,” McNamara said.

The need for blood donors matches the red crosses need for volunteers at those blood drives as well.

“We still have a number of people on the ground in the state of Florida responding to communities that were impacted by the hurricane in addition to more volunteers that will be heading out in the weeks to come as we start the next phase of our response,” McNamara said.

To schedule your appointment to give, find out when the next blood drive is coming close to you or look for volunteer opportunities visit

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