The holiday season is in full swing with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day not far away. It’s a season associated with giving — thanks and gifts, notably.

This season — through New Year’s — also is a time when donations of blood and platelets typically tail off. Busy schedules with activities and traveling are the culprits.

However, a dropoff in donations is a concern for an organization such as the American Red Cross, which tasks itself with recruiting donors so that the daily need of blood and platelets by hospitals for patients can be met. According to the Red Cross, someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds. Donation dropoffs and shortages put at risk the ability of hospitals to provide the blood that patients need.

Fortunately, area residents have multiple opportunities this month to help those who need blood. The American Red Cross has organized the following blood drives:

•9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 20, Developmental Services, 2920 10th St., Columbus

•2 to 7 p.m., Nov. 20, Hope Moravian Church, 202 Main St., Hope

•2 to 6 p.m., Nov. 21, Henry Chiropractic Center, 2790 Brentwood Drive, Columbus

•2 to 6 p.m., Nov. 28, FairOaks Mall, 2380 25th St., Columbus

•1 to 6 p.m., Nov. 28, First United Methodist Church, 240 Poplar St., North Vernon

•1 to 6 p.m., Nov. 30, Bartholomew County Library, 536 Fifth St., Columbus

Scheduling an appointment to give blood is as easy as going online at redcrossblood.org or calling 800-733-2767.

Consider helping others by giving blood this holiday season. It’s a precious give that is welcome and makes a big difference in a person’s life.