A blood drive will take place Friday, March 17, from 11 to 4, at Wilton Congregational Church, 70 Ridgefield Road.The American Red Cross is urging all eligible donors to give blood or platelets. Recent winter storms forced 20 area blood drives to cancel, causing about 750 donations to go uncollected. There is a critical need for platelet and type O negative donors. \u00a0 \u00a0\u201cThe need for blood and platelets is constant despite the weather,\u201d said Nick Gehrig, communications director, Red Cross Blood Services. \u201cPlatelet donors and blood donors of all types, especially type O negative, are urged to give when it\u2019s safe to travel to an area blood drive or donation center.\u201dPlatelets are tiny cells in blood that form clots and stop bleeding. Although they are needed for many reasons, cancer patients often rely on platelets during treatment.Type O negative donors are an important part of the Red Cross trauma team. Because it\u2019s the universal blood type and can be transfused to patients of any blood type, type O negative blood is what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations.Other area blood drives are:Danbury3\/20\/2017: 11 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Danbury Hospital RSM, 24 Hospital Avenue3\/31\/2017: 1:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Hampton Inn Danbury, 81 Newtown RoadNew Canaan3\/21\/2017: 1 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Saint Mark's Church, 111 Oenoke Ridge Road Redding Center3\/22\/2017: 12:45 p.m. - 6 p.m., First Church of Christ, Congregational, 25 Cross HighwayStamford3\/24\/2017: 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Trinity Catholic High School, 926 Newfield Avenue3\/25\/2017: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Tully Health Center, 32 Strawberry Hill CourtThere is a blood donation center at 596 Westport Avenue in Norwalk. Hours are:Tuesdays: 12:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.Thursdays: 12:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.Saturdays: 8 a.m. \u2013 1:30 p.m.For more blood donation opportunities and other details, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).