With many regular donors delaying giving blood to take final summer vacations and prepare for school to start, the American Red Cross has an emergency need for blood and platelet donations to help end a summer blood shortage.

Make an appointment to donate blood now by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 800-733-2767 or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Those who donated blood earlier this summer may be eligible to give again. Blood can be safely given every 56 days, and Power Red donations can be given every 112 days.

With the help of a $1 million donation from Amazon, the Red Cross is thanking those who help overcome the shortage by giving blood through Aug. 29 with a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.)

Upcoming blood donation opportunities include noon to 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, Shoe Sensation, 14136 Baxter Drive, Baxter; noon to 6 p.m. Friday, St. Mathias Catholic Church, 4529 County Road 121, Fort Ripley; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Pine Grove Zoo, 1200 Broadway W., Little Falls; noon to 6 p.m. Friday, Fellowship Bible Church of Pierz, 12876 Highway 25; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 20, American Legion Post No. 255, 708 Front St., Brainerd; 1-7 p.m. Aug. 26 and noon to 6 p.m. Aug. 27, St. Francis Center, 116 Eighth Ave. SE, Little Falls; noon to 6 p.m. Aug. 28, Good Samaritan Society-Bethany, 804 Wright St., Brainerd; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 29, Arrowwood Lodge at Brainerd Lakes, 6967 Lake Forest Road, Baxter.