By Steve White, Grand Island Bureau Chief - bio | email
Another Christmas has come and gone, but there are still gifts to be given, like the gift of life at a special year-end blood drive.
The American Red Cross reports blood supplies are at a good level, but people travel, get sick, and weather gets bad so donations often slide.
So they're promoting a number of special events to get the units of life saving blood they need.
April Oppliger said, "With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, people don't tend to make time to donate blood and then you throw in seasonal illness and inclement weather. So we have a lot of people who aren't able to give, haven't made time, so it's important for people to come out and give to make sure we have readily available supply for patients."
They say what better time is there to give this gift than at Christmas?
Oppliger said, "We've asked them to share a little of that with other folks by coming out and giving blood. We've got special things we're doing for our donors today, T-shirts and special refreshments but really I think they're doing it because it's one last gift they can give this holiday season."
Some regular donors are passing on that gift and passing on their passion to donate blood to the rest of their family by deciding to come in and give together with family members who are home for the holidays.
Marvin and Carol Kirchner were joined by their children Scott and Lisa, who were home for the holidays.
Marvin said, "You always want to give a gift somebody can actually, really use and something we have extra, so we can always share."
The Red Cross had donation sites in each of the tri-cities Friday and said response was good.