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Blood Donor Month: A timely drive

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Eric Tegethoff

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(Northern Rockies News Service) As the calendar turns to January, organizations are calling for donations during National Blood Donor Month, a designation first proclaimed in 1970.

Diane Wright, regional executive director of the American Red Cross of Montana and Idaho, said January is an important time for donations.

"January was chosen because it's typically a challenging time of the year for us to collect lifesaving blood, usually due to holiday seasons and the start of the new year and winter weather," Wright explained. "It makes for a challenging time to collect."

About three percent of Americans donate blood each year. Each donation helps two or more people in need.

Wright emphasized donations are critical because blood cannot be manufactured.

Blood donations help a wide range of people, including folks with cancer, who have been in accidents, or need emergency surgery. A blood transfusion is performed every two seconds in the United States.