RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The Blood Connection is calling for more people to donate blood as it is facing an urgent need for donations.

They fear they could be running on a two-to-three-day supply of blood very soon.

If that happens, they say blood shortage could hurt patient care as demand goes up.

Historically, TBC says there is a higher demand for blood products in July.

Blood donors of all types are urgently needed throughout the summer, according to the organization.

“If this announcement came from a large milk producer and the headline read ‘milk shortage leads to two-day supply in local grocery stores,’ people would most likely rush to the nearest store to buy milk,” according to a statement from the organization.

How will my donation help?

The Blood Donation says one blood donation can help up to three people.

Data show 1 in 7 people who enter a hospital need a blood transfusion, but only 3 percent of the population donates blood.

TBC says real patients in local hospitals desperately need blood transfusions every day.

They tell the story of 12-year-old Rhys Shaw who battled acute T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma and, without a stable blood supply, wouldn’t have had a chance at survival.

Data from The Blood Connection says cancer patients use 25 percent of donated blood for their treatments.

Am I eligible to donate?

The Blood Connection requires blood donors to be healthy, weight at least 110 pounds, and be at least 17-years-old. Those who are 16 may donate with written parental consent.

Donors must bring a valid photo ID.

What can I get for donating?

From June 26-July 10, also known as ‘Freedom Week,’ The Blood Connection is offering donors a free T-shirt and an eGift card valued at $20.

“While you’re enjoying the holiday, please remember to make a blood donation for your fellow Americans who are depending on blood for surgeries and cancer treatments,” says Delisa English, TBC President and CEO. “Although you may never meet the person who receives your donation, you’ll feel good knowing you’ve done something miraculous; saving a neighbor’s life.”

Click here or call 864-255-5000 to make an appointment.