January is National Blood Donor Month, a time when the American Red Cross recognizes and thanks the millions of dedicated blood donors across the country for helping ensure a stable blood supply for patients in need.

Since 1970, National Blood Donor Month has been celebrated in an effort to educate Americans about the importance of regular blood donation and the impact it can have. Every day, around 44,000 pints of blood are needed in hospitals to help treat trauma victims, surgery patients, organ transplant recipients, premature babies, cancer patients and more.

Chatfield-area residents will have the opportunity to donate on Monday, Jan. 7, from 2 to 7 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Chatfield. The church is located on Territorial Road.

January can be an especially challenging month to collect blood donations because of inclement weather and seasonal illnesses. Throughout the month, the Red Cross is honoring the contributions of those who roll up their sleeves to help save lives, one donation at a time.

Join the nearly 4 million dedicated Red Cross blood donors across the country and make an appointment to give by visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.