Oklahoma Blood Institute has a gift for donors this holiday season.
Everyone who donates a pint of blood between November 24 and January 31 can receive a long-sleeved holiday t-shirt for the occasion. The dark blue shirt’s design depicts the silhouette of a reindeer wearing a checkered scarf.
Susan Crews, director for Ardmore’s Oklahoma Blood Institute location, said the shirts were introduced because blood donations tend to decrease around the holidays as people are traveling and focusing on other charitable causes.  
“It’s to promote giving during the holidays,” Crews said. “We tend to see a decline at this time, so we’re trying to increase that and raise awareness at the same time.”
Donated blood can only be stored for 42 days before it becomes unusable, which means the need for donors is constant, but the supply is not. Crews said the holidays and summer vacation are always a low point for blood donations nationwide.
“A large majority of our blood comes from high schools, colleges and vo-techs,” Crews said. “They let out for the holidays.”
People are also focused more on canned food drives, toy drives, and other kinds of donations this time of year.
“That’s probably why this takes a backseat,” Crews said.
If a donor turns down the t-shirt, Oklahoma Blood Institute will make a monetary donation to Global Blood Fund for blood center assistance in developing countries instead.
OBI’s Ardmore location is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and closed on Monday.