NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - As the season of giving approaches, those who step into the East Texas Blood Center this holiday season are giving in a special way.
"We say the need for blood never takes a holiday," said Mary Francis Bradford, the director of the center.
Neither do hospitals.
Accidents, surgeries, and the general need for blood surge during the holiday season.
Bradford is trying to spread the word.
"Our hospitals are open and our hospitals are providing healthcare when its needed so we still need to be able to have adequate blood supply for our hospitals even though everyone is out enjoying the holidays," Bradford said.
The East Texas blood supply has only one source -- donations from those who take the time to give.
"The blood products that we provide to our hospitals -- there is no other supply it can't be manufactured any other way we rely on our donors," Bradford said.
Donor Cindy Lee has been giving for 27 years and understands the importance of sharing the gift of life.
"You just don't know what it does," Lee said. "It makes me feel so much better when I can do it for someone that needs blood.
For Bradford, those who take the time to give blood represent what the holidays are all about.
"What they are doing is above and beyond and is really the true meaning of the holidays, which is to give," Bradford said.
The center is letting you send a holiday hug along with a blood donation.
Those who give blood can sign a card, which is sent to recipients along with a teddy bear.