BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Here’s something that’s for a good cause and can have fun doing it too; the American Red Cross and Discovery have decided to partner up for this upcoming Shark Week and invite people to dive on in to help support and save lives by donating their blood in July.

There was a significant blood shortage last month due to a steep drop in blood and platelet donations, so donors are encouraged to make appointments now to prevent that from happening this summer.

The Red Cross Approximately collected 12 percent fewer blood donations than needed back in June, which was a significant monthly shortfall seen in recent years.

It is extremely important and encouraged for people to donate blood. Without these donations, the blood supply shrinks, meaning that blood products aren’t ready or on hand for hospital staff in emergencies.

Thanks to this promotion from Discovery, all that decide to donate blood this July will automatically be entered for a chance to win exclusive Shark Week merchandise package that includes:

  • Beach bike
  • Smokeless portable fire pit
  • Paddle board
  • Kayak
  • $500 gift card to put towards accessories

Those who also decide to donate blood July 21-24 will get a personal Shark Week T-shirt from Discovery. Details for this promotion and this contest are available at rcblood.org/sharkweek.

Donors are always encouraged to come in and donate the gift of life, and can also connect with patients as well. To make an appointment in July, you can download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit their website at RedCrossBlood.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767)