The American Red Cross is announcing an amazing incentive to try to combat the problem they're having with severe blood shortages in Central New York. Donors will receive some great gifts for their donation, but the prize available to one lucky winner may fuel your desire to give.

It's no new problem for the American Red Cross to experience a blood shortage, but once again the need is impacting patient care at local hospitals. It's really a nationwide problem. Locally, the Eastern New York Region of the Red Cross has announced that individuals who donate from July 1st to July 6th will automatically get a free Red Cross embroidered hat, while supplies last.

Any person who donates blood or platelets from July 7th until July 31st will get a $10 Amazon Gift Card via email and will be put in the running for an incredible grand prize. The Eastern New York Region of the Red Cross has announced that anyone who donates from July 7th-31st will get put into a drawing to win free gasoline for an entire year ($5,000 value).

The blood shortage is really taking a toll on the Red Cross and area health care providers. The Red Cross says,

Right now, the Red Cross is working around the clock to provide blood products to hospitals responding to an unusually high number of traumas and emergency room visits, as well as overdoses and resulting transplants. As a result of the blood shortage, some hospitals are being forced to slow the pace of elective surgeries until the blood supply stabilizes, delaying crucial patient care.

Furthermore, the summer months are when blood donations decline even further. The Red Cross fears that with people getting vaccinated and are now able to do things they weren't able to last summer. Red Cross officials believe this will escalate further the shortages. Officials hope with the sharp increase in fuel prices, the chance for a year supply of gas will be a great incentive for donors.

To schedule an appointment to donate blood, you can download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

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