Summertime is a busy time for many people. There's summer vacations, kid's sports, and a host of other activities that take up a considerable amount of time. That's why the American Red Cross typically sees a dip in donations during the summer months. In an effort to keep those from dropping too sharply, they're offering you and I a little extra incentive to stop by and give the gift of life.

From now until Monday, June 10th (this coming Monday to be exact), if you stop by and give blood, the Red Cross will e-mail you a $5 Amazon gift card as a way of saying thanks. To book an appointment, visit their website, or download their Blood Donor app to your phone and take care of it that way.

Donations are especially critical if you're Type O negative like me, because there is a "critical shortage" of the supply. Our blood is "universal" and can be used by anyone regardless of their blood type. According to the Type O Blood fact sheet on the Red Cross website, this blood is particularly handy during trauma situations where the victim's type is unknown. The ironic twist to being O negative is that while our blood is compatible with nearly everyone, our bodies will only accept O negative.

Before you take that trip to the beach, find 45 minutes to an hour of your time to make a donation so someone else may live.

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