Hundreds of area residents are giving the ultimate gift this year, saving lives.
"This is the time of year you always need to give and this is one thing I do every single year," says blood donor, David Hill.
"It's been quite a long time since I've been here and for the season I thought it would be a good thing to give to people who need it," says blood donor, Angela Hill.
Blood donors say the prick of a needle is a small price to pay for the feeling they get in potentially saving a life. "It's one of those feelings that's just like, wow, I could be saving somebody's life," says David.
Les Long with United Blood Services says local blood supplies can reach dangerously low levels during the holidays, that's why now is the perfect time to encourage people to donate. "Due to KLLL and their listeners, and people who listen to NewsChannel 11 and help support this we actually end up not having that problem," says Long.
With their goal of collecting more than 1,300 pints, they're halfway there, but always hope for more. Even with a successful blood drive like this UBS still has as little as a one or two day blood supply. "And that's really pretty scary," says Long.
He says about a third of the U.S. population is able to donate blood but only 5% of those people actually take the time to do it. But he's confident West Texans will donate willingly.
"If every donor who donates come in one more time a year we wouldn't end up on shortages," says Long. Donating blood is relatively fast and painless. In the short time you spend donating blood you could be saving the life of a cancer patient, a premature baby or even someone you love.
"My father before he passed away needed a lot of blood transfusions so I know how important it is and if you can donate you should," says blood donor, Laurie Jurhs. The blood drive continues through December 23rd. You can donate at united blood services at 48th & University.