The American Red Cross needs your help.

The Red Cross has stated in the past few months, blood donations fell short of expectations with the result of roughly 61,000 fewer donations than needed.

"It’s crucial that people donate now to meet the needs of patients every day and to be prepared for emergencies that require significant volumes of donated blood," said Jan Hale, communications manager of the Central Plains Blood Services Region in a press release. "Every day, blood can help save lives and right now these heroes are needed to give as soon as possible."

The shortage is the equivalent of not collecting any blood donations for more than 4 days.

Summer time tends to bring blood shortages, the Red Cross said. The decline is in part because of fewer volunteer-hosted blood drives at places of work, worship or community gatherings.

Vacation plans also play a part in the lack of donations as donors and volunteers head out for summer activities.

Therefore, the Red Cross has set up an emergency call for donations.

The following locations will be conducting blood drives: Dodge City on July 24 from noon to 6 p.m. at the Senior Center, 2408 Central Ave. and July 25 from 7:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Spearville on July 20 from 2 to 6 p.m. at St. Johns Parish Hall, 100 Main Street; Montezuma on July 11 from 2 to 6:30 p.m. at Morningside Community Church, 100 N. Apache; Jetmore on July 21 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Presbyterian Church, 303 W. Best Street and Greensburg on July 14 from noon to 6 p.m. at Bethel Mennonite Church, 12125 25th Ave.

Those who have not donated in some time or are new donors, are encouraged to attend any of the local blood drives in the coming weeks.

The Red Cross has said that every 2 seconds in the United States blood is needed to respond to patient emergencies, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant procedures, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.

In order to have a proper response, the Red Cross says they must collect nearly 14,000 blood donations every day for patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals across the country.

For more information visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-REDCROSS.