LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Blood supply is at its lowest level in more than a decade. As a result of low numbers, the American Red Cross has decided to host a blood drive from Thursday, June 30 through Sunday, July 10.

Red Cross officials say blood donations are down 21% during the holidays as more people are on vacations.

When blood donations drop, so does the availability of blood products for hospital patients.

Many of the nation’s blood centers only have a one-day supply of blood types. Officials say this is dangerous because blood transfusions are needed for multiple surgeries.

“We can only keep blood on the shelf for about five days at a time, so as you can imagine, while we are very happy everyone is traveling and having fun, we also know that a five to ten day period makes our blood supply very vulnerable across Michigan,” said Alicia Dorr, Regional Communications Manager for Michigan’s American Red Cross.

Patients rely heavily on the good-nature of blood donors, especially around the Fourth of July.

Officials say donating blood can save up to three people’s lives as every two seconds someone needs blood.

Health experts say the process of donating is quick and easy after a brief screening.

As a thank-you to those who donate between June 30 and July 10, the American Red Cross is giving out a Red-Cross recycled cotton tote bag.

“The need for blood doesn’t take a break, so schools and colleges are off and closed during this time. While all those places are closed, hospitals aren’t. They are still seeing accident victims, cancer patients, people with blood disorders and mothers with blood complications. Anyone who is ill might still need that life saving blood.”

Alicia Dorr, Regional Communications Manager for Michigan’s American Red Cross.

To schedule an appointment to donate click here.