Donating your blood may help save a life, but if you donate in October it may also earn you a gift card.

The American Red Cross is seeking donations of blood, platelet or AB Elite plasma, according to a social media post by the organization.

It said if donors give blood during the month of October they will automatically be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $500 gift card, redeemable at hundreds of merchants.

The gift cards, courtesy of Tango Card, can be used at such places as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Nike and Under Armour.

In another post by the Red Cross it said that Type O donors were needed, as was Type B- donors. That doesn’t lessen the need for other types of blood donations, however, the organization said in a Facebook post.

“While ALL blood types are urgently needed, we have a special need for B- donors right now to help save lives.”

Some facts from the American Red Cross about blood and blood donations:

  • 5 million Americans will a need blood transfusion each year.
  • Someone needs blood every two seconds.
  • Only 37 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood - less than 10 percent do annually.
  • About one in seven people entering a hospital need blood.
  • One pint of blood can save up to three lives.
  • Healthy adults who are at least 17 years old, and at least 110 pounds may donate about a pint of blood – the most common form of donation – every 56 days, or every two months. Females receive 53 percent of blood transfusions; males receive 47 percent.

A blood drive is going on today, Monday, through 7 p.m. at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension, 371 Eastland Dr., Twin Falls, or click here to see what other upcoming blood drives are in your area or to schedule an appointment.