The American Red Cross has a severe winter blood shortage and is issuing an emergency call for blood donors to make a donation appointment now and help save patient lives. \u00a0 Hectic holiday schedules for many regular blood donors contributed to about 37,000 fewer donations in November and December than what was needed. Snowstorms and severe weather have also impacted donations. About 90 blood drives were forced to cancel in December, resulting in more than 3,000 blood donations going uncollected. \u201cBlood and platelet donations are critically needed in the coming days so that patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatments they are counting on,\u201d said Alyson Barraza of the Connecticut Red Cross Blood Services Region. \u00a0\u201cWe encourage donors to invite a family member or friend to donate with them to help meet patient needs. Right now, blood and platelet donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in.\u201d How to help Find a blood donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross is extending hours at many donation sites for more donors to give blood or platelets. Overall, the Red Cross has added nearly 200 hours to blood donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help speed up the donation process. \u201cIn about an hour, you can help save someone\u2019s life. This simple act can have a profound impact on another human being,\u201d said Barraza. Who blood donations help Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all require blood to save their lives. The treatments high school freshman Payton Kannarr receives to fight leukemia cause her blood counts to drop. She currently receives platelet transfusions weekly and red blood cells about every two weeks. \u201cWe have seen firsthand the incredible need for blood products as we have been on this four-year roller coaster journey,\u201d said Amy Kannarr, Payton\u2019s mom. \u201cThrough the care and compassion of donors, Payton has been able to enjoy life as a teenager.\u201d Blood donation opportunities Bethel Jan. 6: 1:30-6:30 p.m., Walnut Hill Community Church, 156 Walnut Hill Rd. Danbury Jan. 16: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Danbury Fire Department, 19 New Street Jan. 19: 1:30-6:30 p.m., Gethsemane Baptist Church International, Gethsemane Baptist Church International, 8 Delay Street Jan. 21: 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Ann's Place, 80 Saw Mill Road Jan. 9: 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Danbury Hospital RSM, Hospital Avenue East Norwalk Jan. 11: 1-6 p.m., East Norwalk Library, 51 Van Zant Street Fairfield Jan. 20: 1-6:45 p.m., Grace United Methodist Church, 1089 Fairfield Woods Road Jan. 6: 11 a.m.-4 p.m., YMCA, 841 Old Post Road Greenwich Jan. 9: 1:30-6:30 p.m., Temple Sholom, 300 East Putnam Avenue Monroe Jan. 7: 8 a.m.-1 p.m., I.B.E.W. Local 488, 721 Main Street New Fairfield Jan. 17: 1:30-6:30 p.m., New Fairfield Congregational Church, 20 Gillotti Road Newtown Jan. 10: 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 1:30-6:30 p.m., Newtown Congregational Church, 14 West St. Ridgefield Jan. 5: 1:30-6:30 p.m., Ridgefield Park & Recreation Center, 195 Danbury Rd. Shelton Jan. 13: 8 a.m.-1:45 p.m., R.D. Scinto Towers, 2 Corporate Drive Sherman Jan. 14: 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Sherman Volunteer Fire Department, 1 CT 39 Stamford Jan. 21: 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Tully Health Center, 32 Strawberry Hill Court Trumbull Jan. 6: 1:30-6:30 p.m., Grace Episcopal Church, 5958 Main Street Wilton Jan. 9: 1:30-6:30 p.m., YMCA, 404 Danbury Road About the American Red Cross The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.