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As the holiday season gets underway, the American Red Cross is calling on individuals to give the gift of blood.

“The need for blood is constant during the winter months, but donations can slow — especially around the holidays,” said Jim Flickema, chief executive officer of the Red Cross Southeastern Michigan Blood Services Region.

“Long holiday weekends, like Thanksgiving, pose an extra challenge when many donors are traveling to be with family and friends.”

The organization is also calling for donations of platelets, cells help the blood to clot.

The Red Cross would like donors of all blood types, particularly O negative, A negative and B negative as well as platelet donors, to schedule an appointment.

Donors who give blood or platelets through Sunday will receive a Red Cross potholder with recipes from celebrity chefs Mario Batali, Alex Guarnaschelli, Mike Isabella and Rocco DiSpirito while supplies last.

Schedule an appointment using the Blood Donor App, by siting redcrossblood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

cwilliams@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2311

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