The American Red Cross is facing a looming blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give. Eligible donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially needed at this time. There is also an urgent need for platelet donations. Platelets are a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, burn victims, and bone marrow recipients and must be transfused within five days of donation. Platelet donors can make an appointment by calling 1-866-353-1030. There are several upcoming blood donation opportunities in the Charlottesville area. To make an appointment or for more information.call 1-800-733-2767 or visit redcrossblood.