During National Preparedness Month in September, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood to help ensure a readily available blood supply for emergencies.

Whether blood is needed for a chronic condition such as sickle cell disease, a routine surgery, a traumatic accident or a large-scale emergency, it’s the blood already on the shelves that helps save lives. Donors of all blood types are needed.

Donations decline around summer holidays like Labor Day. To thank those who come out to give Sept. 2-6, the Red Cross is providing a branded duffel bag, while supplies last.

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).  The next blood drive in Otsego County is this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Main Street Baptist Church at Briggs Hall, 333 Main Street, Oneonta. In Delaware county, the next one is September 9th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the SUNY Delhi Farrell Student & Community Center, 2 Main Street, Delhi.