NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- The American Red Cross is putting out an emergency call. They are in desperate need of blood and platelet donors.

The organization is short 37,000 donations nationwide.

"Realistically it's not at all unheard of for there to be situations where elective surgeries are actually postponed or canceled," said Diane Kyrus, account manager.

The reason for the shortage they say is severe weather and the holidays.

"Our holiday collections were down significantly, so we're starting out the New Year with our blood supplies not being anywhere near where they need to be," said Kyrus.

"Just locally we need to collect about 600 units of blood per day in our region. And our region extends up past just about to Richmond and then down into North Carolina," she added.

That means nearly 600 donors are needed per day across the region.

"Every time someone donates they can help save up to three lives, and alleviate suffering. Lots of times blood is used in cancer patients just to replenish platelets," said Chris Adams, district manager.

Red Cross employees are ready to welcome back repeat donors and hopefully new ones in this new year.

Click here to find out how you can donate.