HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WVEC) -- The American Red Cross is urging people to give the gift of life this holiday season, by donating blood.

The Red Cross experiences a decline in blood donations every year around holiday season due to the fact that most people have hectic schedules and are traveling. This makes it more difficult for regular donors to give, and many businesses and organizations are forced to postpone hosting blood drives.

The need for blood donations is constant, especially during the holiday season.

"While many of us gather with friends and family this time of year, patients may spend the holidays in a hospital room," said Bernadette Jay, the external communication manager of the Red Cross Mid-Atlantic Blood Services Region. "The need for blood doesn't take a break for the holidays. Please make an appointment to give the most meaningful gift of all - the gift of life through a blood or platelet donation."

Donors of all blood types are needed this holiday season to help ensure a sufficient supply for hospital patients.

To learn more, find a donation opportunity, or schedule an appointment visit the Red Cross' website, or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.