KEARNEY — With many regular donors taking summer vacations and preparing for the new school year, the American Red Cross has an emergency need for blood and platelet donations to help end a summer blood shortage.

Blood and platelet donations aren’t keeping pace with patient needs. More donations are urgently needed to replenish the blood supply and be prepared for patient emergencies. Blood can be safely given every 56 days.

Make an appointment to donate blood now by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 800-733-2767 or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

With the help of a $1 million donation from Amazon, the Red Cross will email a $5 Amazon.com gift card to those who give through Aug. 29.

In Kearney, blood may be donated at the American Red Cross Fort Kearney Chapter, 520 W. 48th St., noon-6 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Monday, Aug. 22, Aug. 26 and Aug. 29.

Other Kearney locations include:

- Thursday: noon-6 p.m., First Baptist Church, 3610 Sixth Ave.

- Friday: 1-7 p.m., KTown Shakedown, 3715 29th Ave., Suite A1

- Aug. 29: noon-6 p.m., McMeen Physical Therapy, 3811 Central Ave., Suite F

Donation sites in the region include:

- Cozad: 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday at Cozad Community Hospital, 300 E. 12th St.

- Elwood: noon-6 p.m. Aug. 26 at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 704 Smith Ave.

- Gibbon: noon-6 p.m. Aug. 27 at Faith United Methodist Church, 205 Garfield St.

- Lexington: 1-7 p.m. Aug. 21 at Dawson County Annex, 200 W. Seventh St.

- Pleasanton: noon-6 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Community Building, 202 N. Sycamore St.