AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - The American Red Cross has a critical and urgent need for blood donors of all types, with the organization's president calling it one of the worst shortages yet.
Fewer donations than expected were given in the first half of summer, causing serious problems for people who need the life-saving liquid.
A tiny needle stick and a few second of discomfort is all it takes for Auburn University sophomore Zachary St. Clair, a regular blood donor, to save a life.
"I just know there is a dire need right now, and one donation can save up to three lives," St. Clair said.
Every day donations come up short. Blood becomes less available for cancer patients, trauma victims, organ transplant recipients, premature babies, sickle cell disease patients and more who need the life-saving liquid.
"I think the fear of needles may be a part of it, I am afraid of needles, but you build it up in your mind to be worse than it is, in reality it really isn't a big part of the process," said Katie Benavides, senior at Auburn University.
Red Cross leaders told ABC news that 32 out of 36 regions are on appeal, meaning they have less than a day's supply of blood available, or have inadequate supply to meet hospital demand.
"I am O Negative, I have time in my schedule, and I think it's kind of a nice thing to do," said Benavides.
"It's like the slogan the Red Cross, the gratification is instant, as soon as you feel like you have helped a lot of people and i don't do it to feel good, I do it to help people really because I want to help save lives and I would hope someone else would do the same for me and my family," said St. Clair.
Chappy's Deli in Auburn is also hosting a blood drive for LifeSouth on Friday July 26. Their goal is to have 30 donors from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If you donate, Chappy's will feed you breakfast, lunch or dinner for free!