OKLAHOMA CITY - Blood supply is still low in Oklahoma and donors are being asked to give the gift of life.

It's a gift that doesn't cost a thing and can help save lives. Oklahoma City residents are invited to help save a life by giving blood at an upcoming blood drive scheduled for Dec. 30 at the Oklahoma City Red Cross Chapter.

Marissa McCurtain, newly-crowned Miss Heartland and contestant for Miss Oklahoma 2015, knows how meaningful blood donations are. McCurtain received six pints of blood after being diagnosed with severe anemia.

“As Miss Heartland 2015 I am making it my mission to inform people of how important blood donation is,” said McCurtain. “If it weren't for six donors taking time out of their busy schedules to give blood, I would not be here today. Please join us on December 30 to donate blood and start saving lives in the New Year!”

Blood donors of all types, particularly O negative, A negative and B negative are urged to make a donation to help ensure patient needs can continue to be met this winter.

In appreciation for making a lifesaving gift, presenting blood donors at this drive will receive a long-sleeve Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

Oklahoma City Red Cross Chapter blood drive

Dec. 30 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Oklahoma City Red Cross Chapter, 601 NE 6th St.

Historically, winter is one of the most difficult times of year to collect enough blood to meet patient needs. Holiday activities make it difficult for many regular donors to make time to donate blood. Seasonal illnesses, like the flu, can cause some donors to become temporarily ineligible to donate, and winter weather can lead to canceled blood drives. Despite these challenges, patients still depend on lifesaving donations every day.

Eligible donors can schedule an appointment to give blood using the Blood Donor App, by visiting redcrossblood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross urges donors who have made a commitment to donate during the holiday period to keep their appointments. Each appointment kept, and each donation given, offers hope to a patient in need.

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.