WINNIPEG -- Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are donating blood.

According to the Canadian Blood Services, appointments for blood donations are up from last year.

“We’ve seen a 20 per cent year-over-year increase,” said Mike Choi, territory manager at the Canadian Blood Services.

“And I know hearing anecdotally, speaking with some of these new donors, a lot of them are saying ‘Well, we had a lot more time on our hands and this was something we always wanted to try and now we had time to do it.”

Canadian Blood Services noted that usually donations decrease in the summer months, as people travel, take part in family activities and change from their winter routines.

But that doesn’t mean the need for blood goes away – it can take up to 50 donors to save the life of someone who’s been in a car accident.

And with Canada Day coming up on Wednesday, the non-profit hopes Winnipeggers will make it a day to help as well. The Canadian Blood Services is looking to fill 71 spots on the holiday.

The charitable organization has implemented physical distancing measures and appointments are mandatory.

For more information call 1-888 -2- DONATE or visit the Canadian Blood Services website.