(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — For 2022, it has been a year of crisis for families in northwestern Pennsylvania and around the world — from extreme climate disasters to global emergencies like the conflict in Ukraine to the first-ever national American Red Cross blood crisis.

According to a release, $15 billion disasters have upended lives across the country this year — more than twice the number of billion-dollar disasters that struck annually two decades ago.

For northwestern Pennsylvania, Red Crossers responded to more than 160 local disasters and helped more than 560 people. Also, local volunteers traveled to major disaster operations around the country to provide help and hope after hurricanes, floods and wildfires.

When these crises happen, on an individual or community level, it turns lives upside down. However, you can help make a difference for those less fortunate this holiday season by making a financial or blood donation.

“This holiday season, join us to provide help and hope for people in need during future emergencies by making a financial donation or by giving blood or platelets,” said Jorge Martinez, Interim Regional CEO, American Red Cross of Greater Pennsylvania.

In January 2022, the Red Cross experienced its worst national blood shortage in over a decade due to ongoing collection challenges and varied hospital demand during the pandemic.

Beyond national headlines, the need for blood is constant, as one in seven patients entering a hospital will need a blood transfusion, Red Cross reports. Every day, blood donors are the lifeline for car accident victims, parents with complicated childbirths, individuals battling cancer and people with sickle cell disease.

To learn how you can make a difference this holiday season by donating, visit the American Red Cross Greater PA’s website.