January is National Blood Donor Month and United Blood Services is encouraging folks to roll up their sleeves and donate.

Troy Dahman, Regional Director of Field Operations for United Blood Services, says blood is typically in short supply during the winter months.

"Statistically you tend to have a larger number of traumas that come about during the holiday season as a result of the traveling and all the other stuff going on," said Dahman. "January is key for us because we're coming out of that trough in terms of decreased donations and we really want to start the year strong and make sure that we are able to keep that supply readily available for our hospitals and patients."

Dahman says there's a constant need for all blood types, but O-negative is the universal blood type that can help stabilize patients during emergencies.

"O-negative for us is a dream, that O-negative can go to anyone," said Dahman. "We are pushing hard to get more red cells in, as well as being able to keep bolstering our platelet supply as they only have a five-day shelf life."

Dahman says if people would donate just three times a year, there would be an overwhelming supply of blood for our communities.

"We're talking about an hour out of their time, if even that," said Dahman. "Even though the holiday season is over, it's always a wonderful time to give a gift and in this case it's the gift of life."

Joy Greenwald, Townsquare Media