The American Red Cross is issuing an urgent call for eligible donors of all blood types – especially type O – to donate blood now, due to an emergency blood shortage. More than 550 fewer blood drives were held by businesses and other community groups last week than during a typical week as individuals across the country celebrated Independence Day, according to Red Cross officials. This could equate to as many as 15,000 fewer donations than needed, causing donations to now be distributed to hospitals faster than they come in. In an effort to reduce shortages, several Santa Clarita establishments such as the Santa Clarita Old West Masonic Lodge, Route 66 and College of the Canyons will be holding blood drives this month. “Each and every day, individuals across the country depend on blood and platelet donations for lifesaving treatments and emergency care, so it’s critical that people donate now to meet these needs,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services in a news release. “Yours may be the donation a patient is counting on.” This need is especially critical for type O blood donors, since type O is the most in-demand blood type and often the first be depleted from hospital shelves during a shortage. “I think it’s important to realize that blood is perishable and so it can’t be stockpiled, which is why we have a constant need for blood especially during the summer months,” said Christine Welch, External Communications Manager for the American Red Cross. “It only takes about an a hour of your day to help save someone’s life and [residents] can easily find local blood donation opportunities in their communities by going to www.redcrossblood.org or calling 1(800) RED-CROSS.” Santa Clarita residents interested in donating will have several opportunities to help during the month of July, as blood drives will be held at various dates, times, and locations. Canyon Country 7/25/2018: 3 p.m. – 9 p.m., Route 66, 18730 Soledad Canyon Rd 7/27/2018: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., The Oaks Apartments, 27105 Silver Oak Lane Santa Clarita 7/11/2018: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Santa Clarita Old West Masonic Lodge, 19310 Avenue of the Oaks 7/14/2018: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Santa Clarita Old West Masonic Lodge, 19310 Avenue of the Oaks 7/18/2018: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Santa Clarita Old West Masonic Lodge, 19310 Avenue of the Oaks 7/25/2018: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Santa Clarita Old West Masonic Lodge, 19310 Avenue of the Oaks 7/28/2018: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Santa Clarita Old West Masonic Lodge, 19310 Avenue of the Oaks 7/29/2018: 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Best Buy, 26531 Bouquet Canyon Rd Valencia 7/10/2018: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., College of the Canyons, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd 7/10/2018: 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Embassy Suites, 28508 Westinghouse Place 7/10/2018: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Power Ford, 23920 Creekside Rd 7/17/2018: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Hilton Garden Inn, 27710 The Old Road To find more drives in your area or to pre register to donate, visit the American Red Cross website. The above information was provided to The Signal via a American Red Cross new release.