(MILLSBORO, Del.) - 'Tis the season for giving, especially for giving blood. This is the time of year that the American Red Cross typically sees blood shortages. Natural disasters that took place early this fall canceled blood drives and actually caused the shortage to come in November.

"Unfortunately this is also a time of great need during the holidays," says American Red Cross Delmarva Chapter Executive Director, Theresa Young. "We see accidents and surgeries. Blood is also used for cancer patients and sickle cell. There's always a continual need, but this time of year there's usually a shortage because people are very busy," she explains.

Every unit donated can save up to 3 lives. The American Red Cross is hoping to collect 39 units of blood and platelets at this blood drive. With 66 pre-registered donors, they expect to reach that goal.

These blood drives are made possible through those that host them, like the American Legion Auxiliary Post 28 in Millsboro. "This is probably our third one. We did two this year and then we're scheduled again for two next year because it's always so successful. We try to do it for the community because there's not too many blood banks or blood drives in this area," says National Americanism Chairman, Beth McGinn.

Avid donors took advantage of having a drive close to home. For some, giving blood is a tradition.

Terri Barton of Lewes says she started donating back in 2000. Mike Jarvis of Long Neck says he's been giving blood for over 30 years. "This is an easy way to give back to those that have a need. It doesn't really cost us anything to do," Barton says. Jarvis explains, "It's easy and painless to do. It just takes a few minutes of your time."

The American Red Cross wants all blood types, but the need for O- is greater. Young explains, "It is the universal blood that everyone can use."

The American Red Cross is giving out $5 Amazon gift cards to anyone who comes out to donate before December 19th, but it's not just more donors that they need. They also need more businesses and organizations to host these blood drives throughout January, February, and March. To schedule an appointment, donate, or host a drive, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or go to their website: redcrossblood.org.

The Millville Fire Company is hosting the next blood drive on Saturday, December 15th from 9-2. To find more blood donation opportunities near you, visit: https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive