(Jan. 7, 2019) — The American Red Cross encourages people to help meet the urgent need for blood and platelets by resolving to give blood this January – National Blood Donor Month.   The critical role of blood and platelet donors has been celebrated each January for nearly 50 years during National Blood Donor Month, which coincides with one of the most difficult times to maintain a sufficient blood supply for patients. Busy holiday schedules, extreme winter weather and seasonal illnesses often impact donor turnout this time of year.    Donating blood or platelets is a way to make a lifesaving impact in the new year for patients like Judy Janssen, who was diagnosed with end-stage autoimmune liver disease in 2016. Janssen received frequent blood transfusions – sometimes multiple times a week – until she underwent a liver transplant last January.   “Blood donors make a really big difference with very little effort,” said Janssen, who received dozens of transfusions before and during her transplant surgery. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for blood donations.”   Make an appointment to donate blood or platelets by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).   Another way to help keep the blood supply strong in the new year is to host a Red Cross blood drive. To learn more about hosting a blood drive and to sign up, visit RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.  Lackawanna   American Red Cross Blood Donation Center Scranton Blood Donation Center 3 West Olive St. (located in the Icebox Complex), Scranton Mondays: 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays: 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.   Dalton 1/9/2019: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Church of the Epiphany, 25 Church Hill Road   Dunmore 1/23/2019: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., St. Josephs Center, 320 South Blakely St. 1/28/2019: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Penn State University, Scranton Campus, Study Learning Center, 120 Ridgeview Drive 1/29/2019: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m., PennDOT, 81 Keystone Industrial Park   Greenfield Township 1/18/2019: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Greenfield Fire Hall, 424 Route 106   La Plume 1/24/2019: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Keystone College, Evans Hall, 1 College Green   Scranton 1/29/2019: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Moses Taylor Hospital, 700 Quincy Ave.   Taylor 1/18/2019: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Acacia Masonic Lodge No. 579, 617 Union St.