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By Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – January is National Blood Donor Month.

Red Cross spokesman Anthony Tornetta says this month is a chance to thank blood donors and ask again for their support.

“We collect approximately 6.1 million units of blood each year from roughly, a little more than 3.5 million volunteer blood donors. So, the donors are out there and we ask them across the country and here in the Philadelphia area to continue to donate and continue to make a difference in the community,” says Tometta.

And this time of year, he says the chances increase of mother nature playing a role in canceling blood drives and making it difficult to get out.

“We could see a snow storm or an ice storm, something like that could definitely impact one’s ability to go out and donate blood but we encourage people to call us and make those donations as soon as possible,” says Tometta.

And many people need blood on a regular basis, not just after accidents or surgery, which is why Tornetta says collecting blood is a year-long effort.

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