COUNCIL BLUFFS — The American Red Cross currently has a critical need for blood donors of all blood types – especially type O – and platelet donors to make an appointment now to give and help replenish the blood supply after the holiday weeks.

Right now, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of type O blood. To help tackle the critical need, the Red Cross and NFL are working together to offer one lucky winner a trip to Super Bowl 54, in Miami.

During the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s, about 500 fewer blood drives were hosted by volunteer sponsor groups than required to meet patient needs. Many groups postpone blood drives during the winter holidays when travel and holiday activities may make it challenging for many donors to give. In fact, AAA estimated that a record 115.6 million Americans traveled during the holiday period of Dec. 21 through Jan. 1.

Donors are urged to make an appointment to give now using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

As a special thank-you, those who come to give blood or platelets from now through Jan. 19, 2020, will automatically be entered for a chance to experience the Super Bowl live.

The Red Cross and NFL have teamed up to offer one winner two tickets to Super Bowl 54, entry to the official NFL Tailgate, tickets to Super Bowl Experience at the Miami Beach Convention Center, round-trip airfare to Miami, three-night hotel accommodations at The Alexander® – All Suite Oceanfront Resort (Jan. 31 to Feb. 3), and a $500 gift card for expenses. Additional details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl.

Some upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Adair County: Orient. 1/15: 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Orient-Macksburg High School, 201 School Street

Audubon County: Exira. 1/27: 12-6 p.m., Exira Recreational Center, 106 N Jefferson

Cass County: Atlantic. 1/16: 12-6 p.m., Atlantic YMCA, 1100 Maple Street Griswold. 1/10: 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Griswold High School, 20 Madison

Lewis. 1/29/2020: 12 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Lewis Community Center, 400 West MainStreet

Montgomery County: Red Oak. 1/27: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1101 East Summit;

Shelby County: Elk Horn – 1/28: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Elk Horn Lutheran Church, 4313 Main Street;

Harlan – 1/21: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Veteran’s Memorial Building, 1104 Morningview;

Westphalia – 1/22/2020: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., St. Boniface Parish Center, 305 Duren St.

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 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive.

To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.