During Red Cross Month in March, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to join in its lifesaving mission by giving blood.

As part of that mission, Ridgefield Parks and Recreation Center will host a blood drive at its location on 195 Danbury Road from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 2.

Since 1943, every U.S. president has designated March as Red Cross Month to recognize how the Red Cross helps people across the country and around the world. Red Cross Month is a celebration of supporters, who are the face of the Red Cross in their communities and bring hope to people facing emergencies.

Blood donor Timothy Sheely knows the need firsthand. His wife required 12 units of blood during emergency surgery following the birth of their son. “If it had not been for blood donors, she might not have survived,” he said. “Thanks to generous blood donors, I still have a wife and my kids still have their mom. I can’t possibly thank those people in person, but I can give a little piece of me back with each donation for the greater good.”

The Red Cross depends on blood donor heroes across the nation to collect enough blood to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals nationwide. Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are needed to help those rely on blood products.

Make an appointment to become a hero to patients in need by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Other upcoming blood donation opportunities include:

Bethel

3/3/2017: 1:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., St. Mary's Church, 24 Dodging Town Road

Danbury

3/10/2017: 1:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Central Christian Church, 71 West St.

Fairfield

3/15/2017: 12:30 p.m. - 6 p.m., St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 661 Old Post Road

3/2/2017: 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Sportsplex at Fairfield, 85 Mill Plain Road, Building J

Greenwich

3/6/2017: 1:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Temple Sholom, 300 East Putnam Avenue

Monroe

3/11/2017: 7:45 a.m. - 1 p.m., Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 466 Elm Street

Newtown

3/1/2017: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Newtown Municipal, 3 Primrose Street

3/7/2017: 1:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Newtown Congregational Church, 14 West St.

3/7/2017: 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Newtown Congregational Church, 14 West St.

Shelton

3/13/2017: 8 a.m. - 1:45 p.m., R.D. Scinto Towers, 2 Corporate Drive

3/3/2017: 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Perkin Elmer Corporation, 710 Bridgeport Avenue

Stamford

3/11/2017: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Tully Health Center, 32 Strawberry Hill Court

Trumbull

3/4/2017: 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., VFW Post 10059, 1 Veterans Circle