GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Blood shortages continue to affect donation centers all across the nation. Now, the American Red Cross is calling on you to make a difference.

This is definitely one of the worst times in terms of supply that blood centers have seen in a while. The American Red Cross notes that 2021 proved month by month to have some of the lowest donor turnouts. The organization has now declared the nation’s first-ever blood crisis.

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Barry Porter, the American Red Cross regional CEO, said the need for blood is much greater than people may realize.

“Every two seconds in America, somebody gets a blood transfusion. So it’s a constant demand for blood and blood products,” said Porter.

Officials with the Red Cross note to media outlets that this shortage is proving to be one of the worst in more than a decade.

This month is also proving to be very important as it is National Blood Donor Month, with local branches like Dunkin Donuts of Greenville even getting in on the action to help spread awareness.

Porter said with this month highlighting donors, you can actually give more often than you may think.

“Our average donor that we do have in the record gives 1.8 times a year. You can give blood six times a year. So you can give in January, give again in April, give again in July, and you can really help with blood supply at critical times,” said Porter.

Officials say the pandemic is playing a major role in blood donations being on the back burner for people, noting only about 5% of eligible donors are actually donating.