With all the buzz around and gift–giving during the holiday season, people may forget about a precious gift -- donating blood.
The Red Cross hosted a holiday blood drive throughout the tri–cities on Friday, in hopes to build up the winter blood supply.
Donations usually run low in the winter and summer months, but officials are encouraged when hearing the stories of people who decide to give during this time of year.
For some, it's personal.
"My husband received two units of blood last night due to a low hemoglobin count," said donor Dori Bush. "It made me feel good to know I contributed. I didn't contribute his blood exactly, but I'm replacing some of the blood that was given to him last night."
"What I've been hearing from donors today, it's just the good feeling they get knowing they helped save a life. They had extra time on their hands, they're a school teacher and they're off for the holidays," said Donor Recruitment Manager Kim Pegg. "And it's something they can do, it doesn't cost them any money but they walk away knowing they helped save a life, which you don't get the opportunity every day."
The Red Cross reported 119 pints of blood donated combined from Kearney, Grand Island and Hastings. The holiday blood drive is an annual event.
REPORTER'S NOTES: If you missed the Tri-Cities Holiday Blood Drive, visit www.redcrossblood.org for blood drives in your community. Free t-shirts will be handed out to those who donate throughout the area until January 3rd.