The American Red Cross this week warned of a dangerously low supply of blood both around the country and in the Los Angeles area—and hoped to induce donations by automatically entering donors into a raffle for Super Bowl tickets and other prizes.

The pandemic has contributed to a 62-percent drop in blood drives at schools and colleges, the organization said.

“Our inventory is at crisis levels,” said Raahima Shoaib Yazdani, a spokesperson for the American Red Cross’ Los Angeles Region. “Right now, doctors are being forced to decide which patients receive blood transfusions and who must wait.”

The Red Cross said blood and platelet donations are critically needed to help prevent further delays in medical treatments, and urged donors of all blood types—but especially type O—to make appointments to give.

Appointments are available on the Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visiting RedCrossBlood.org or by calling (800) RED CROSS (800) 733-2767).

The organization said anyone who donates in January—National Blood Donor Month—will automatically be entered to win two tickets to Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, along with entry to the official NFL Tailgate, tickets to Super Bowl Experience, round-trip airfare to Los Angeles, three-night hotel accommodations (Feb. 11-14) and a $500 gift card for Expenses.

Donors will also be automatically entered to win a “Big Game at Home” home-theater package and a $500 e-gift card for game-day food.

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