Though the time for opening presents has passed, a spokesperson for one of the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit transfusion medicine organizations says the gift of life can still be given.
Stephanie Kizziar, communications manager for Vitalant, says blood is always needed.
"It's so important for the public to understand that the blood on the shelves is what is helping and saving patients who are currently in need of blood, and we don't want that blood on the shelves to ever run out," she tells One News Now. "It's a constant need for people to come in and donate blood so we can replenish those shelves."
And Kizziar asserts that donating blood is safe, even with COVID-19 still dominating much of the news cycle and convincing some people otherwise.
"One of the best things about Vitalant is that we have always taken great safety precautions," she relays. "With COVID, we have ramped those up even further."
Kizziar understands the concerns.
"I have a seven-year-old daughter at home who has respiratory issues, and so for me, to feel comfortable going into work every day is very important," the Vitalant spokesperson shares.
She further encourages those who have already suffered through and fully recovered from COVID to consider donating blood.
"Your blood has antibodies in it now that help you to fight off the virus," Kizziar explains. "So what we are doing is with these blood donations, if you have those antibodies, we're able to extract the plasma from your blood, and that's given to someone who is currently in the hospital fighting COVID, and it just helps them to recover faster and gives them that little boost they need to get through the virus."
Vitalant can also help donors determine their blood type, among other things.
"We can find out what your blood type is; we can test your blood for those antibodies," Kizziar relays. "We are testing all blood for COVID antibodies, so it's a great way to learn something about yourself, too."
She adds that donating blood can be life-saving in more ways than one in some cases, as some donors have learned through the process that they have different underlying medical issues of which they were not even aware.