“The need for blood does not dimish over the holidays,” Donor relations with blood services Debbi Barfoot tells My Bancroft Now.

She points to the pile-up that happened over the weekend on Highway 401 near Kingston with over 40 cars involved. “The local hospital was code orange,” she explains. That is code for “mass casualty accident” and in those cases, blood is almost always needed.

Barfoot says O negative is the most-needed blood type since it’s universal, meaning it can be used with anyone that needs it. The problem is that only six percent of Canadians have that blood-type. Barfoot adds that O positive is also a good blood-type to have, adding that 39-percent of Canadians have it. “We’re encouraging any and all donors to get out and donate, though,” she adds.

The blood drive will be held on December 23rd at the Bancroft Pentecostal Tabernacle from 1:30 PM until 6. Barfoot says there are 81 appointments open. You can go to www.blood.ca to book an appointment, or call 1-888-236-6283, or download the Blood app.

If you’re a first-time donor then you will need to complete an eligibility quiz available on their website. On donation day, first-time donors will also need to bring a piece of photo ID. Whether you’re a first-time donor or a regular, Barfoot says you need to bring a list of medications you’re on as well.

“if you can get together a group of friends or colleagues, we’re encouraging that during our December Days of Giving campaign,” Barfoot says. If you’re interested in doing that, she says to email her at debbi.barfoot@blood.ca

For anyone donating blood, Barfoot says to make sure you’ve eaten well that day and are hydrated.