The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give the perfect gift a blood donation to help ensure a sufficient blood supply throughout the holiday season.

A decline in donations occurs from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day when donors are busy with family gatherings and travel. However, patients don't get a holiday break from needing lifesaving transfusions. In fact, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.

Timothy Sheely's wife received 12 units of blood products during emergency surgery after the birth of their son. "If it had not been for blood donors, she may not have survived that ordeal, but thanks to generous blood donors, I still have a wife and my kids still have their Mom," he said. "I can't possibly thank those people in person, but I can give a little piece of me back with each donation for the greater good. Thanks to those who are able to donate and choose to donate!"

The Red Cross encourages donors to start a new holiday tradition and bring family and friends together to donate blood or platelets. Donors of all blood types are needed to give this November to help ensure a sufficient supply for hospital patients. As a thank you for donating around the Thanksgiving holiday, all those who come to donate Nov. 24-28 will be invited to download a set of recipes from celebrity chefs.

To make an appointment to give blood, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donors are encouraged to make appointments and complete the RapidPass online health history questionnaire at redcrossblood.org/rapidpass to save time when donating.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families.

The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or on Twitter at @RedCross.

Akron

Nov. 29-30: 1:15 - 7:45 p.m., Summit Blood Donation Center, 501 W. Market St.

Nov. 24-28:: 8:15 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Summit Blood Donation Center, 501 W. Market St.

Northfield

Nov. 30: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., Hard Roc Rocksino Northfield Park, 10777 Northfield Road

Stow

Nov. 28: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Acker Moore Memorial Post, 3733 Fishcreek Road

Twinsburg

Nov. 28: 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Twinsburg Public Library, 10050 Ravenna Road