FARMINGTON, Conn. — The American Red Cross currently has a critical need for blood donors of all blood types – especially type O – and platelet donors to make an appointment now to give and help replenish the blood supply after the holiday weeks. Right now, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of type O blood. To help tackle the critical need, the Red Cross and NFL are working together to offer one lucky winner a trip to Super Bowl LIV in Miami.

During the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s, about 500 fewer blood drives were hosted by volunteer sponsor groups than required to meet patient needs. Many groups postpone blood drives during the winter holidays when travel and holiday activities may make it challenging for many donors to give. In fact, AAA estimated that a record 115.6 million Americans traveled during the holiday period of Dec. 21 through Jan. 1.

“Lifesaving medical treatments and emergencies never take a holiday,” said Paul Sullivan, senior vice president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. “Declines in donations can affect patient care. That’s why the Red Cross is encouraging eligible donors to make an appointment to give now and help those sidelined by illness and trauma.”

Donors are urged to make an appointment to give now using the Red Cross Blood Donor App , visiting RedCrossBlood.org , calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

As a special thank-you, those who come to give blood or platelets Jan. 1-19, 2020, will automatically be entered for a chance to experience the Super Bowl live. The Red Cross and NFL have teamed up to offer one winner two tickets to Super Bowl LIV, entry to the official NFL Tailgate, tickets to Super Bowl Experience at the Miami Beach Convention Center, round-trip airfare to Miami, three-night hotel accommodations at The Alexander® - All Suite Oceanfront Resort (Jan. 31 to Feb. 3), and a $500 gift card for expenses.* Additional details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl.

Upcoming local blood drives

Jan. 13

Hoxie Firehouse, 34 Broadway Ave. in Mystic, 1 to 6 p.m.

Jan. 16

Groton City Municipal Building, 295 Meridian St. Ext. in Groton, 1:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 17

Mitchell College Weller Center, 437 Pequot Ave. in New London, 11:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Jan. 20

Niantic Baptist Church, 443 Main St. in Niantic, noon to 5 p.m.

Jan. 22

Marine Science Magnet High School, 130 Shennecossett Rd. in Groton, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Jan. 24

Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, 365 Montauk Ave. in New London, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jan. 28

Hugo A. Simonelli VFW Post 3263, 60 Stonington Rd. in Mystic, 12:30 to 6:15 p.m.

Feb. 7

Waterford Town Hall, 15 Rope Ferry Rd. in Waterford, 12:30 to 6:15 p.m.

Feb. 11

Connecticut College Crozier Hall, 270 Mohegan Ave./Route 32 in New London, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Feb. 12

UConn Avery Point, 1084 Shennecossett Rd. in Groton, 8:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Feb. 13

Connecticut College Crozier Hall, 270 Mohegan Ave./Route 32 in New London, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Gales Ferry Firehouse, 1772 Route 12 in Gales Ferry, 1 to 6 p.m.

Connecticut Media Group