Many of us enjoy the holidays and view the season as a chance to give special gifts to close friends and family, but many people don’t think about the one gift we should all be giving: the gift of life. When you donate blood, you are giving the ultimate gift and helping make it possible for someone else to spend a holiday with loved ones.

Blood donations typically decline in December when people are busy with holiday planning and preparations. That’s why the Red Cross needs loyal blood donors this time of year to help maintain a safe and adequate blood supply throughout the holidays and year-round. Since processing and testing blood takes about 48 hours, blood must be donated and available well before it’s needed.

Any healthy person age 17 (age 16 with signed parental consent) or older and weighing at least 110 pounds may be eligible to donate blood. Valid identification is required for all blood donations.

All eligible donors are asked to schedule an appointment Hermiston Community blood drive on Dec. 20 at Good Shepherd Medical Center, 610 N.W. 11th, from 1-6 p.m. by calling American Red Cross at 1-800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) or visiting redcrossblood.org.

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