Donate blood and you could go to Super Bowl LVI

The American Red Cross is hurting for blood donors, so much so that they're entering everyone who donates blood in January into a raffle to win tickets to Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.

The organization declared its first-ever nationwide blood crisis in the U.S. this week, its worst shortage in more than a decade. Blood shortages have been common throughout the pandemic, the Red Cross citing a lack of donors, blood drive cancellations and staffing challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

"If the nation’s blood supply does not stabilize soon, life-saving blood may not be available for some patients when it is needed," the organization warned in a joint statement with America's Blood Centers and the Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies. 

RELATED: Red Cross declares 1st ever US blood shortage crisis: How to donate, types needed

January is National Blood Donor Month according to the Red Cross, and the organization's new partnership with the NFL will enter all who donate blood through Jan. 31 into a raffle to win a trip to LA and two tickets to this year's Super Bowl. The winning donor will get two tickets to the game, the NFL tailgate, and the Super Bowl Experience, round-trip airfare to LA, a three-night stay at an area hotel, and a $500 gift card.

The organization held a similar raffle last year for the Super Bowl in Miami. 

Overall, there has been a 10% decline in blood donation since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, the Red Cross said.  

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