National Blood Donor Month has been observed in January since 1970 and recognizes the importance of giving blood and platelets while honoring those who roll up a sleeve to help patients in need. The community is invited to help save lives by donating blood from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20 at First Baptist Church Wetumpka.

The winter months can be especially difficult to collect enough blood and platelets to meet patient needs. Inclement weather can result in blood drive cancellations, and seasonal illnesses, like the flu, can prevent some donors from making or keeping appointments to give. Blood donors with all blood types are encouraged to make an appointment to give.

To make an appointment or to learn more, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire is encouraged to help speed up the donation process. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.