The holiday season may be over but you can still share the priceless gift of blood donation with Arkansans in need.

Arkansas Blood Institute encourages healthy adults to “follow their instinct,” and set aside about an hour from their busy schedules to donate blood. The holidays are typically a challenging time for the life-saving blood supply; and one donation can save the lives of up to three area patients.

Sixteen-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds and provide signed parental permission while 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds and those 18 and older must weigh at least 110 pounds.

Arkansas Blood Institute will hold a blood drive with Booneville Community on Jan. 13, from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Mercy Hospital. Each blood donor will receive a free, limited edition, long-sleeved holiday-themed T-shirt.

“The simple, yet selfless, act of donating blood this holiday season will give patients in local hospitals a chance to spend precious time with their families,” said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute. “The cost- just an hour of your time- is certainly less than other gifts most of us will give this season. But there’s nothing that has a greater impact.”

Blood recipients have the opportunity to send a message of appreciation to their individual blood donor, anonymously, through Arkansas Blood Institute’s Thank the Donor program.

Every two seconds, someone needs blood, and the supply must be constantly renewed. If donors opt not to take the t-shirt, Arkansas Blood Institute will make a monetary donation to Global Blood Fund for blood center assistance in developing countries.

As a non-profit blood center, Arkansas Blood Institute’s donors provide every drop of blood needed for patients in more than 40 hospitals statewide.

It takes nearly 1,200 donors a day to meet those needs. Appointments to give blood are not required but can be made by calling Arkansas Blood Institute at 877-340-8777 or visiting arkbi.org.