With summer vacations and families busy preparing for school to start there is a shortage of blood donors, according to a news release. The American Red Cross has announced an emergency need for blood and platelet donations.

You can roll up your sleeves and donate blood at the State Bank of Cross Plains, 108 N. Main St., from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30.

Laura McGuire, external communications manager for the Red Cross, described the body’s need for blood like the need to recharge your phone battery – it is constant. Someone is in need of blood every two seconds, she said.

“(Blood) can not be manufactured. The only we can get it is through one another,” McGuire said.

To donate is an easy process, she said. Donors should be well-rested, hydrated and in overall good health. They should also be prepared for a mini-health screening to check temperature, blood pressure and iron levels.

Red Cross volunteers and staff can make the appointment last under an hour, McGuire said.

After donation, the blood is used for transfusions, accidents, surgeries and any other hospital needs. The Red Cross supplies local hospitals first and then can ship blood across the country.

The universal donor blood type is O-negative, although Red Cross welcomes all blood types.

Eligible donors will receive a $5 Amazon gift card through email.

Contact Mackenzie at mackenzie.krumme@wcinet.com.