The American Red Cross is experiencing an emergency blood shortage and is offering an online shopping incentive to those who are willing to help by donating.

The Red Cross reports that while approximately 38% of the population is eligible to give blood, less than 10% actually do. While busy summer schedules, vacations, and school breaks can occupy donors’ times, they want to remind people that accidents and emergencies don’t take a summer break. Blood donations tend to drop off steeply each summer, and this year is no different. The Red Cross is reporting that they have less than a 3-day supply of most blood types available, and less than a 2-day supply of type O blood.

To help build up stock and ensure that people who need blood can receive it, they are offering an incentive for people who donate blood or platelets between now and August 29th. Those who do will receive a $5 gift card for Amazon, by email, as a thank you.

When donating, bring a blood donor card, picture ID, or 2 other forms of identification to the donation site. Completing a RapidPass online prior to arriving can help save time. Several opportunities in Livingston and surrounding counties are available throughout the month. To schedule an appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. (MK)