WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Every year during the holidays, blood donations across the country drop, and after responding to blood needs in the Midwest following the deadly tornadoes, our local blood donation center is calling on the community to come in and donate to get them through this holiday season.

While blood donations are essential year-round, the Texas Blood Institute said donating during the holiday season is one of the greatest gifts you can give.

“The need for blood donations actually rises during the holiday season and the end of the year, but collections go down, and that leaves us in a bind,” Recruitment Manager Jennifer Risinger said.

The Blood Institute said they’ll only be able to get out of the bind with help from the community.

Recently, it has sent emergency blood units out to parts of the Midwest following the recent school shooting and deadly weather. Now, they again need donations to keep helping in times of crisis.

“Every single blood donation can save up to three people’s lives,” Risinger said. “If you’re at least 16 years old and you’re healthy and you’re feeling well, please come and see us.”

With major holidays like Christmas and New Years Eve approaching, officials said they know these donations will be used fairly quickly.

“The holidays are always an extremely challenging time for us,” Risinger said. “People are not thinking about donating blood. Sometimes, you know, they’re out of their normal routine, maybe they’re on vacation or traveling to see family members.”

The local TBI wants to give the public a gentle reminder to take a little time out of your day to make a donation that could save someone’s life.

“It’s the gift of life, and it doesn’t cost you a penny,” Risinger said. “It’s something that’s very healthy for you, and it could mean a difference in life or death for a patient in need.”

You don’t have to do much or spend anything to make a difference in someone’s life this holiday season.

If you donate between December 18 and 22, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $500 Visa gift card to help with your holiday shopping.

You can find more information on ways to make your blood donation here.