With the busy holiday season approaching, the American Red Cross encourages donors to give blood now to help ensure a sufficient supply for patients this winter.

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, many regular donors delay giving due to holiday activities and travel. This often decreases the amount of donated blood available for patients.

More donations are needed in the weeks leading up to the holidays to help stock the shelves for patients like Emily Bratton. After the birth of her first child, she received several units of blood.

“I know that my life was saved because someone, somewhere, was willing to donate their blood,” said Bratton. “There aren’t words to describe how incredibly thankful I am that people are willing to donate blood to help a stranger.”

Give patients in need another reason to be thankful – make an appointment to give blood.

Download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800- RED CROSS (1-800- 733-2767).

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from a computer or mobile device. To get started and learn more, visit http://redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

Upcoming donations in McPherson Coutny:

n Journey Mennonite Church, 201 E. Euclid, McPherson, noon to 6 p.m. on Nov. 13 and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 14

n McPherson Municipal Center, 400 E. Kansas Ave., 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Nov. 14