Almost 300 Hunter blood donors are needed during this festive season with Lifeblood hosting Australia's biggest 'Secret Santa'.
To celebrate this Secret Santa exchange, blood donors at Australian Red Cross Lifeblood will receive a card to give someone special letting them know that they gave blood on their behalf.
Lifeblood spokesperson Brian Bruce urged locals to give blood during the critical season, which runs from December 16 to January 6.
"297 donors are needed to prevent a possible shortage of blood stocks vital to the treatment of cancer patients," he said.
"With many people taking time off this holiday season we need those who can to step up and be a life-changing 'Secret Santa' to Australian patients in need, ensuring no one misses out on receiving this incredible gift.
"If Secret Santa is about giving anonymous gifts designed to make someone's day, then blood donation really is Australia's ultimate Secret Santa exchange."
Blood will be needed by road accident patients, pregnant mums, cancer patients and even premature babies every day over Christmas and New Year.
Mr Bruce said stocks of platelets, a blood component vital to the treatment of cancer patients, were particularly at risk during the holiday period.
"It takes four blood donations to make just one bag of platelets for patients and they only last for five days so donors are constantly needed to ensure cancer patients get this vital product," he said.
"Your blood donation will be the ultimate gift to Australian patients this Christmas - and will have a far-reaching impact on the lives you save, and the lives of their loved ones.
"So this Christmas we're urging Hunter valley locals to take part in Australia's Biggest Secret Santa exchange by making an appointment to give blood between December 16 and January 6."
A new donor is needed every five minutes to meet Australia's growing blood needs. Now is the time to give blood like life depends on it.
To make an appointment to give blood or find out more about Australia's Biggest Secret Santa, call 13 14 95 or visit lifeblood.com.au