Red Cross in need of blood donations

The Red Cross is hoping to find some people in the giving spirit around the holidays to donate blood.

Fortunately, people like Anna Kaiser help out whenever they can. That's because when she was younger, she relied on the generosity of blood donors.

"When I was a baby I had open heart surgery and needed blood," explains Kaiser, "so I like to give back, like the people that gave me blood."

But December is one of the slowest months for blood donations, which Douglas Powe, another donor, says is because of the holidays.

"I think it's because people have trouble donating right now," he speculates, "they're busy doing other things: visiting, traveling, things like that."

Powe works in health care, so he sees the benefits of blood donations first hand with patients. Which is what he wants people who are on the fence about donating to know.

"If they only knew how, where their gift goes," he says, "I mean you've got the red blood cells, you've got the whole blood that's being used, the volume, you've got the platelets, the plasma that's associated with it, I mean I don't know the exact number of patients that can be touched by one unit of blood, but I know that it's multiple and that's fantastic."

And for those who are worried about the pain, Kaiser says not to worry.

"Just breath, it'll be over with before you know it."

And in the end, your donation could help save lives.

For information about how to donate and future blood drives, click on this link. There, you can sign up for blood drives, and through January 8th get a free tee-shirt with your donation.