BANGOR — As a result of low blood donor turnout in recent months, the American Red Cross is heading into the holidays with its lowest blood supply in more than a decade at this time of year. The organization is appealing for donors during this giving season.

The ongoing effects of COVID-19 and a summer spike in Delta variant cases significantly challenged the nation’s blood supply heading into the fall. The pandemic also resulted in fewer blood drives at schools and colleges, contributing to a 34% drop in new blood donors from last year — one of the largest year-to-year decreases and one that could threaten essential medical care for patients. Locally, the Northern New England Red Cross Region has experienced a 28.5% decrease in new blood donors this year.

The need for blood is great. The Red Cross urges everyone to make an appointment to give blood as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

As a thank-you, all those who come to give from Nov. 29 to Dec. 16 will be automatically entered for a chance to win a private screening for the winner and 50 of their guests of the epic new film, “The Matrix Resurrections.” Plus, those who come to give Nov. 29-Dec. 16 will also get a $10 gift card by email, thanks to Amazon. (Terms apply.)

Those who make a blood donation part of their Thanksgiving plans Nov. 24-28 will receive an exclusive pair of Red Cross holiday socks, while supplies last.

In Knox County, the following blood drives are coming up:


Dec. 9: 1-6 p.m., Rockland American Legion, 335 Limerock St.

Dec. 16: 1-6 p.m., Rockland American Legion, 335 Limerock St.


Dec. 7: Noon-5 p.m., YMCA, 116 Union St.


Dec. 3: Noon-5 p.m., St. George Lodge, 105 Camden Road.

Upcoming blood drives in or near Waldo County:


Nov. 24: 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Belfast Boathouse, 34 Commercial St.


Nov. 27: 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m., O’Brien’s Event Center, 375 Main St.

Dec. 3: 9 a.m.-2 p.m., YMCA of Greater Waterville, 126 North St.


Dec. 9: 1-5:30 p.m., United Methodist Church, 36 Church St.


Jan. 12, 2022: Noon-4:30 p.m., Searsport High School, 24 Mortland Road.