CUMBERLAND — As many prepare to celebrate a busy holiday season, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors across the country to harness their humanity by giving blood in the coming weeks.

As a result of low blood donor turnout in recent months, the Red Cross is heading into the holidays with its lowest blood supply in more than a decade at this time of year. The ongoing effects of COVID-19 and a summer spike in delta variant cases significantly challenged the nation’s blood supply heading into the fall. The pandemic also resulted in fewer blood drives at schools and colleges, contributing to a 34% drop in new blood donors from last year — one of the largest year-to-year decreases and one that could threaten essential medical care for patients.

Make an appointment to give blood soon by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 800-733-2767.

All those who come to give Nov. 29-Dec. 16 will be entered for a chance to win a private screening for the winner and 50 of their guests of the epic new film “The Matrix Resurrections” and they will get a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Maryland

Cumberland: Nov. 26, 12:30 to 6 p.m., Riverside YMCA; Dec. 6, 1:30 to 7 p.m., First Presbyterian Church; Dec. 7, 12:30 to 6 p.m., Grace Community Church; Dec. 8, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Allegany College of Maryland.

Flintstone: Dec. 16, 1:30 to 6 p.m., Flintstone Fire Hall.

Grantsville: Dec. 6, noon to 6 p.m., Grantsville Fire Hall.

McHenry: Dec. 14, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Deep Creek Volunteer Fire Company.

Oakland: Dec. 3, noon to 6 p.m., American Legion.

West Virginia

Petersburg: Dec. 2, 12:45 to 5:45 p.m., Petersburg Church of God.

Keyser: Dec. 10, 1 to 6 p.m., Keyser Presbyterian Church.

Short Gap: Dec. 14, 12:30 to 6 p.m., Short Gap Fire Hall.

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