The Red Cross is offering a special incentive to potential donors. Donate and get a gift card.

“All blood types are urgently needed, but we’re facing a critical shortage of type O blood – the blood group most needed by hospitals,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “Because it’s vitally important for hospitals to have type O blood available when every second counts, type O donors are urged to donate now and make a point to donate often.”

All donors who come to give by June 10 receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card. You may even get a Red Cross t-shirt if they're still available.

Right now, the Red Cross has less than a two-day supply of type O blood available. Type O can be used for someone of any blood type, which is critical for emergency situations.

Despite these challenges, hospitals and the Red Cross work to ensure patients have the blood products they need, but that can only happen when a volunteer donor rolls up a sleeve to give. “This is all possible thanks to the volunteers and the blood donors who are giving this generous gift,” said Dr. Atif Shafqat, an oncologist, and hematologist at Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis.

To book a time to come in and donate, you can download the Blood Donor App, visit their website at RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Sanford Myers/American Red Cross