The Blood Bank COO challenges community to give three times in 2015. The  City of Victoria is recognizing January as National Blood Donor Month, a time to celebrate loyal blood donors for saving lives.

Mayor Paul Polasek is also encouraging area residents to donate regularly throughout 2015. "I highly encourage every citizen of Victoria to consider donating blood in 2015,” Polasek said. “Donating blood is the gift of life you can share with others. Help make a difference!"

Because January can be one of the most difficult times to collect blood throughout the United States and our area, the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) is asking every eligible donor to give the gift of life.

This mayoral proclamation helps instill in the community a sense of urgency for the need for blood donors and the significant impact they have in our community .

“Patients across South Texas are so grateful for blood donors, and we want to make sure they continue to have the blood they need when they need it,” said Elizabeth Waltman, chief operating officer of STBTC.

Currently, less than 10 percent of the population eligible to donate blood does so annually.

“We are very appreciative of our blood donor community and we’re challenging them to give at least three times in 2015 to help ensure the blood supply stays adequate all year long,” Waltman said.

To learn more about donating blood or to find a blood drive near you, visit southtexasblood.org.