By Cleve Bryan

PENNSAUKEN, N.J. (CBS) — One station full and two empty is not a happy sight at the Red Cross Blood Donation Center in Pennsauken. “The Red Cross has less than a 5-day supply of blodd on hand so it’s very serious,” said Beth Toll of Red Cross Blood Services.

Summer is always tough for the Red Cross as people go on vacation, and schools which host big blood drives, are out of session.

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This summer, the shortage has begun sooner than previous years. Right now, the Red Cross is short about 39,000 donations throughout the country.

“We’re trying to make sure that our hospitals get as much blood as they need, but it definitely is tough and it does put a strain,” Toll said.

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Red Cross officials say while they deeply appreciate regular donors, they need more first time donors to step up. While four out of 10 people are eligible to give, fewer than one in 10 actually do.

“You can truly help save up to three lives by one hour of your time donating blood so, it’s really important,” Toll added.

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One man, who has been been answering the call for more than two decades, is Timothy Connors from Brooklawn. He not only makes standard blood donations, but has now moved on to giving platelets, every two weeks, which helps infants and people going through chemotherapy.

“People need it and you got to give back to the community,” Connors said. “You can’t just take.”

The Red Cross urges people to consider holding blood drives at their business or organization.

To schedule an appointment to donate, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

The Red Cross is extending hours at many donation sites to allow for more donors to make an appointment to give.

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Donors with all blood types are needed.