ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The American Red Cross of Western New York is calling for more blood donations this holiday season.

The Red Cross says the organization is in a much better position compared to a year ago, but there is still a significant need, as a seasonal deficit in blood donations is to be expected this time of year.

As the holiday season picks up, a number of factors can interrupt the ability for the Red Cross to collect blood needed for patients: travel, common sicknesses, or inclement weather.

The Red Cross is seeking more donors to give now to make sure hospitals are stocked with blood into the new year. While the pandemic put a strain on blood supply, those with the Red Cross of Western New York say they’ve made strong progress in the number of donors.

“The need never goes away because shelf life is short on some blood products and the need at the hospital and patient level never dwindles. We have to keep a steady supply, so we always appreciate people who can step forward to keep us well stocked to meet needs throughout the season,” said Michael Tedesco, communications director for The American Red Cross of Western New York.

As an incentive, the Red Cross will be offering a $10 Amazon gift card to all who register to give blood through December 15th, which is a partnership between the Red Cross and Amazon.

To donate blood, simply visit The Red Cross’ website or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.