SUMMIT, NJ - The American Red Cross estimates that, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, more than one million units of blood may be transfused in the United States. Individuals are urged to give a lifesaving gift this holiday season by making an appointment to donate blood or platelets and help the American Red Cross ensure a sufficient supply is available for patients throughout the holiday season.

Those with type O blood are especially needed.

Summit residents have the opportunity to donate right in their own backyard when the American Red Cross - New Jersey Crossroads Chapter hosts a blood donation event on December 16, from 2 - 7 p.m., at their headquarters located at 695 Springfield Avenue.

Those wishing to donate can make an appointment now by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Individuals who come to give blood or platelets now through December 18 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, courtesy of Suburban Propane. (Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Thanks.)