NewsChannel 15 wants you to give the Gift of Life!

Each December, we ask you to give the gift of life in our Red Cross NewsChannel 15 Blood Drive.

This year's drive is Wednesday, December 12th from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

We'll be at Healthfinders at Coastal Grand Mall in Myrtle Beach and a Magnolia Mall in Florence.

To schedule an appointment, visit and enter sponsor code WPDE or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Walk-ins are welcome.

All presenting donors will receive an American Red Cross T-shirt and will automatically be entered in a drawing for the chance to win a $1,000 American Express gift card through the Red Cross "Give Something That Means Something" promotion.

Did you know?

· Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Most healthy people age 17 and older (or 16 with parental consent), who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.

· Blood is perishable and has no substitute. Red blood cells have a shelf life of only 42 days- they must be replenished regularly.

· O-negative is the universal blood type and may be given to any patient regardless of their own blood type. O-negative blood is often used in emergencies when doctors do not have time to wait to type a patient's blood.

· Every two seconds, a patient in the U.S. needs blood. The only way to provide lifesaving blood is through the generosity of donors who give an hour of their day to roll up a sleeve and donate.

· Something meaningful like a blood donation is a gift that doesn't cost a thing but can give joy and hope to a hospital patient in need.

· Discover the true meaning of giving this holiday season by donating blood. All blood types are needed to ensure an adequate blood supply during the holidays. Donors with O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative blood types may be eligible to donate double red cells.

· The American Red Cross South Carolina Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to patients in 54 hospitals. Approximately 500 people need to give blood or platelets each week day to meet hospital demand.

· The Red Cross encourages people who are in good health to donate so that hospital patients have the blood or platelets they need to make a full recovery. Blood is needed to help treat a variety of patients including accident victims and individuals undergoing surgery and cancer treatment.