The American Red Cross is facing a nationwide blood shortage and hopes that a small perk will motivate donors to help.
The Red Cross currently has less than a five-day blood supply on hand, according to a statement released by the aid group. A five-day supply is what the organization needs at any given time to be prepared for emergencies that require large volumes of blood.
The organization also has to be prepared for everyday situations. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion.
To motivate donors, the organization is giving a $5 Amazon gift card to anyone who donates blood or platelets between now and August 31.
“Each day, the Red Cross answers the call for help ― when a home fire devastates a family, or a hospital needs blood for a sickle cell patient,” Red Cross President Gail McGovern wrote in a HuffPost blog on Monday. “And every day, someone like you can help a patient who needs that lifesaving gift.”
While shortages are somewhat common in the summer, this season's shortage is particularly concerning because it arrived “several weeks earlier” than the nonprofit experienced in recent years, Peter Wilson of the American Red Cross told The Huffington Post via email.
To donate blood, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.