January is National Blood Donor Month.

It happens every year like clockwork: Blood supply levels dip in the winter months.

It’s a combination of causes.

Busy holiday schedules and multiple school holidays take up time.

Bad weather leads to cancelled blood drives.

Flu season lowers the number of possible donors.

That’s why it’s especially important to donate in the winter.

According to the Red Cross, more than 13,000 donations are needed every day to keep a steady blood supply ready for the hospitals, clinics and cancer centers across the country.

There are a few requirements for donors.

Donors must be 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health.

You can schedule an appointment through the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).

There are several upcoming local blood drives, according to redcross.org.

They include:

Northside Baptist Church of Tifton

4605 Murray Avenue

Monday, Jan. 20

3-7 p.m.

Tifton First United Methodist Church

107 W. 12th Street

Tuesday, Jan. 21

Noon — 6 p.m.

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College/John Hunt Town Center

2802 Moore Highway

Wednesday, Jan. 22

11 a.m. — 4 p.m.

Tiftarea Academy

3144 Highway 41 North

Thursday, Jan. 30

9 a.m.—2 p.m.

Tifton First United Methodist Church

107 W. 12th Street

Tuesday, Feb. 18

Noon — 6 p.m.

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