CHRISTMAS is the time of giving, and the Australia Red Cross is calling out for hundreds of blood donations in Warrnambool.
The Australian Red Cross Lifeblood needs 250 blood and plasma donors at Warrnambool's donor centre giving the Gift of Life this Christmas.
The majority of donors are needed between December 27 and January 8.
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Lifeblood spokesperson Stephanie Reynolds said there was no substitute for blood, and a particular component called platelets only lasts for seven days.
Ms Reynolds said this festive season donors receive a 'Gift of Life' gift tag to gift their donation to someone this Christmas or encourage others to roll up their sleeves.
"Blood donation is one of the greatest gifts you could give. It's free, heartfelt, and it's not just for Christmas - we'd love to see these Secret Santa's back throughout the year, because the need for blood never stops," she said.
Ms Reynold said Christmas was the season for giving.
"There is no better gift than life," she said.
"Donating blood only takes an hour of your time, but for a patient, it's life-changing. That change may be a second chance, the key to a fuller life, or perhaps, it's more time with family and friends.
"Blood is needed somewhere in Australia every 18 seconds to help cancer patients, pregnant mums, trauma patients, and many more."
Ms Reynold said the Red Cross' message this Christmas was "'Don't just give something. Give everything", with donations saving up to three lives.
The Warrnambool Blood Donor Centre is located at 2 Fairy Street and is open Monday to Friday over Christmas and New Year's.
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