January is National Blood Donor Month – an excellent time to make blood donation a New Year’s resolution.

The American Red Cross created the January awareness campaign in 1970 to encourage people to donate blood during a time when changing weather, busy holiday schedules, increased cold and flu symptoms and even the winter blues can keep the most dedicated blood donors from making or keeping an appointment to give.

Yet winter weather can lead to more traumatic injuries on icy roads and may increase the need for blood. So blood centers and hospital collection sites often look to January to relieve shortages at the beginning of the New Year.

According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion due to illness, to treat an injury, or during surgery. A single unit of blood from one donor can save up to three lives.

In the United States, about 39,000 units of blood are needed in hospitals and emergency medical treatment facilities for patients with diseases, organ transplantation procedures and to help save the lives of victims of accidents.

By rolling up your sleeves and giving blood you can make a significant difference in people’s lives. Every donation is important, and generous blood and platelet donations help ensure lifesaving blood products reach those who need them 365 days of the year.

To schedule your next donation, use the free Blood Donor App, visit the Red Cross Blood website, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donate now and help save a life.