You can give the gift of life by stopping in and donating blood at United Blood Services' holiday drive in Fargo.
UBS still has 22 donations to go to reach their goal by Dec. 24 and Santa will be waving from the roof until they reach 120 donations. UBS says even though donations tend to slow around the busy holiday season, the need for blood is constant.
"Patients are still in hospitals for surgeries, transfusions and we want to make sure we have enough blood for them to get us through the holidays and the new year," says UBS Donor Recruitment Manager Tami Kilzer.
The donations to go 93 regional hospitals to help people like 92-year-old Mary Lindstrom.
Leukemia has her at Sanford Health in Fargo every two weeks for a transfusion- blood that's helping her celebrate Christmas with family the next few days.
"Yes, it will be fun. The family will all be together. That's lots to be thankful for," she says.
That's made possible by those like Colleen Walker. She's spending an hour at the United Blood Services Holiday Blood Drive Dec. 23 for patients like Mary Lindstrom. She's O-negative.
"More blood they have like that, the more they can save lives... and I like that" says Walker.
She says she was nervous for her first donation.
"So I went there and let me tell you: the needle going in, it might hurt just a second, but that's it," she says.
It's a small price to pay for the gift of life. UBS says that if you are uneasy about needles, it's even more important to remember those who have to face needles every day for their medical treatments.
"It's important to keep that in perspective. Your 8-10 minutes can save a life," says Kilzer.
It help some celebrate many holidays to come.
"It means a lot to your heart to get a transfusion," says Lindstrom. When asked if she meant her physical or metaphorical heart, Lindstrom answered: "Both."
She says to all the donors: "Thank you, thank you, thank you."
You can stop by United Blood Services in Fargo Dec. 24 between 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to help them get the last 22 donations they need to meet their goal.
The whole process takes about an hour, with the donation taking between eight to 10 minutes. You can even shorten that time by filling out the online survey before coming in.