Help save three lives by donating blood and be entered for a chance to win a $1,000 gift card.

The American Red Cross asks donors to give blood from now until the end of the year for a chance to win an American Express gift card usable toward gas, rent, food or event tickets.

The “Give Something That Means Something” promotion runs until Dec. 31. Each person who donates blood or platelets with the American Red Cross is automatically entered for a chance to win.

There are seven blood drive opportunities over the next month in Aiken County.

There currently exists a need for type O-negative blood, which is known as the universal red cell donor, meaning the blood type can be transfused to anyone, according to Jamie Muldrow with the American Red Cross.

There is also a shortage of B-negative blood type.

“This time of year, there is a decline in donations because people tend to be busy with other things – planning for the holidays, traveling,” Muldrow said.

One pint of blood can save up to three lives.

The Red Cross South Carolina Blood Services Region provides donated blood to 54 hospitals.

Approximately 500 people need to give blood or platelets each week day to meet hospital demands, according to the Red Cross.

“Donating blood is an opportunity for people to give the most important gift of all, the ‘gift of life,’” said Ryan Corcoran, chief executive officer, American Red Cross, South Carolina Blood Services Region. “The Red Cross depends on the generosity of volunteer donors to meet the needs of patients in our area and across the country.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate, call 1-800-733-2767 or visit

Upcoming blood donation opportunities

• Oct. 12 – Fox Creek High School, 165 Shortcut Road, North Augusta, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

• Oct. 24 – Aiken Mall, 2441 Whiskey Road, 2 to 7 p.m.

• Oct. 27 – Aiken High School/South Aiken PTO, 2441 Whiskey Road, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Oct. 30 – Aiken High School, 211 Rutland Drive, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

• Oct. 30 – South Aiken High School, 232 E. Pine Log Road, 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

• Nov. 8 – USC Aiken, 471 University Parkway, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Nov. 23 – Aiken Mall, 2441 Whiskey Road, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.