PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood.

WMBD and American Red Cross are hosting the 18th Annual “12 Hours of Giving” blood drive at the Par-a-Dice Hotel in East Peoria on Wednesday.

Brian Williamsen, communications manager at American Red Cross, said they are hoping to get 350 donors this year. The process involves a blood screening then a blood draw. Donors get a free long-sleeved Red Cross shirt, food and drinks.

“Really what you’re going to be doing is you’re going to be potentially helping to possibly save a life. Coming in, giving blood, rolling up your sleeve and saying ‘yes I’ll go ahead and give blood’,” he said.

Williamsen said every blood type is needed.

“You never know who it might be who needs blood. Those situations are not something that can be planned. When it comes time for somebody to need blood, it does rely on others. We can’t manufacture blood, we can’t make blood. It all comes from people who are willing to come in and donate,” he said.

Williamsen said each person makes a difference by giving the gift of life to someone they may never meet.

“If you’re thinking ‘I don’t know if I should come or not’, I promise you are needed and it would be great to have you there… I think the experience is just something where you’re being a part of something that’s greater than yourself, and to me that’s a pretty powerful feeling,” he said.

Williamsen said 80 slots are still available. To sign up, visit the American Red Cross website, call 800-RED-CROSS, or download the Red Cross Blood Donor app.

The blood drive is from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Par-a-Dice Hotel in East Peoria.