The need for blood donors is even greater during the winter and holiday season according to the Senior Account Manager for the American Red Cross Blood Services division in Broome County, Theresa Blank.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News - Theresa Blank Red Cross Blood Service

Appearing on this weekend's edition of the weekly, local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up, Blank talks about the growing challenges facing the Red Cross in meeting the need for blood products in the region.

Blank says a portion of the loyal donor base is aging and can no longer donate while more and more commitments facing younger people can often sidetrack any thought into donating blood.

Blank relays her own experiences and some stories of local families who have needed donated blood products.  The long-time associate of the Blood Services division says she knew one in four people statistically need blood but never thought that in her family, that person may not be herself or even her husband but was her ten-year-old daughter.

Right now, the collection is being challenged by school breaks as well as the possible impact of bad weather on scheduled blood drives.

While reflecting on giving any time of the year, Blank advises people to keep in mind the gift of life to several people that can come from just one donation that takes a little over an hour to give.  A way to end the year on a high note or start the new year is to give blood during a special blood drive at the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City from December 28-January 2.

For information on donating, call 1-800-REDCROSS or go online at redcrossblood.org.

Southern Tier Close Up airs Saturday at 12:10 p.m. on News Radio 1290 WNBF.