'Tis the season to start thinking of ways to give of yourself to others, and Iowa's News Now says the American Red Cross is urgently asking for blood donations. They get it. The thought of donating blood made you nervous before the pandemic and thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, it may be even worse now. Their numbers are down because of the pandemic and the derecho but they assure you it is still completely safe to donate blood.

All blood types are needed, and they do have many precautions in place because of the pandemic. Before all else, make an appointment if you can. Use their mobile app to set up a time here. Just type in a Zip Code, pick a time, and you're good to go. As you might expect, appointments are preferred due to the COVID-19 precautions they are closely following, including social distancing and face-covering will be required when you stop in.

Find more American Red Cross services in our area and if the idea of donating blood still makes you antsy, look for other ways to volunteer or make a monetary donation here. By the way, notice there's an offer there for a $5 gift card and a sweepstakes to win $1,000 gift card for donating blood, in case you need a little incentive.

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