PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The American Red Cross kicked off its 16th annual 12 Hours of Giving blood drive Thursday Morning.

This year the drive took place at a different location- the Four Points by Sheraton, but the goal to collect 350 pints of blood remained the same.

The blood drive kicked off at 7 a.m. Thursday and continued until 7 p.m.

The communications manager with the American Red Cross, Drew Brown, said the organization currently faces an essential need for all types of blood, but especially types O negative and positive.

Blood donations during the winter months are very important, he added.

“This time of year we typically see donations decline because people are busy with the holidays and the weather so having this drive is very important for patients in need because the need is constant all year round so having that life-saving blood is very important now,” said Brown.

Blood donations could also help patients who are at risk of having or do have COVID-19.

“All blood donations are being tested for COVID-19 antibodies and after the test if it shows that they do have antibodies, that could go help patients in need,” said Brown.

If you want to donate it is encouraged to make an appointment. Click here or call 1-800 Red Cross.

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