To help address the current emergency blood shortage, all who come to give blood or platelets with the American Red Cross from July 29 through Aug. 29 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. Currently, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of most blood types available and less than a two-day supply of type O blood.

There will be a blood drive in Wilton on Wednesday, July 31, from noon to 5 p.m., at The Greens at Cannondale, 435 Danbury Road.

There will also be a blood drive in Westport on Wednesday, Aug. 14, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the Westport Police Department, 50 Jesup Road.

Another local blood drive will be held in Ridgefield n Thursday, Aug. 1, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., at St. Mary's School, 183 High Ridge Avenue.

A blood donation takes about an hour from start to finish, but the actual donation itself only takes about 8-10 minutes.

Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow these instructions or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.