ST. LOUIS, Mo.  — The best gifts can’t be bought in a store. The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give more life by giving blood this December.

Alison Wissen knows the power of blood donations. She received 22 units of blood products after experiencing complications during childbirth. “I truly owe my life to blood donors,” she said. “Even the skilled hands of my surgeons could not have saved me without the blood.”

Because of blood and platelet donors, Wissen will celebrate the holidays with her three children and husband.

In December, donations decline but the needs of patients remain steady. During the holiday season, set aside an hour to give the most important gift – give blood and give more life. To encourage donations, all those who come to give blood or platelets Dec. 21, 2017, through Jan. 7, 2018, will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

Make an appointment to give blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities include a blood drive from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Dec. 21, at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 137 S. Main St., Fredericktown.

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