The greater need this time of year is also because holiday vacations and time spent with family often distracts donors, said Shelby Norris, communication specialist for the American Red Cross.
"It's easy for blood donation to fall off their to-do list," she said.
The Red Cross region that includes Delaware County needs to collect at least 500 pints of blood each day to satisfy the area's need, according to the American Red Cross Web site.
Young adults are especially important to help meet this quota. Norris said about 20 percent of donors come from area high schools and colleges. And during the past few years, Norris said, young adult donors have been giving more, while senior donors are dwindling.
"We're excited to see that," Norris said. "But we're impacted by schools being out of session. The need for blood is constant."
To target the youth demographic, the Red Cross anticipates school breaks and schedules drives around them, Norris said.
This strategy seemed to work last year. Norris said the number of donors didn't drop last winter, meaning the company was able to meet the needs of regional hospitals.
The number of donors increased by 38 percent at the Indiana Blood Center's September two-day drive on Ball State's campus, King said. More than 450 pints of blood were collected. The blood collected by Indiana Blood Center supplies Ball Memorial Hospital and other regional hospitals.
"We're very grateful for the Ball State support we receive," King said. "We're really proud of what we contribute to the local blood supply."
People are eligible to donate blood once every eight weeks
The American Red Cross in the region has almost 100 blood drives each week to meet the area's demand
One donation could help save up to three lives
2008 school year- American Red Cross collected 497 pints of blood from Ball State's campus
2009 school year (so far)- American Red Cross has collected 172 pints of blood from Ball State's campus
WHAT: Angels For Life Blood Drive
WHO: Indiana Blood Center
WHEN: Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: Pruis Hall; schedule an appointment at donorpoint.org
SO WHAT? Door prizes, including t-shirts and food, will be given out
WHAT: Blood drive
WHO: American Red Cross
WHEN: Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: Park Hall; schedule an appointment at givelife.org
SO WHAT? The goal for the drive is about 65 donations