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Tis' the season for giving. So will you be giving the gift of life by donating blood?

A Memphis man with a rare blood type is encouraging others to donate amid a critical supply shortage in the Mid-South.

MEMPHIS, Tenn — As the need for blood in the Mid-South becomes more urgent, one Memphis family is sharing why they’re dedicated to giving again and again.

As Charles Samuel Wallace’s mother said, since it’s officially the season for giving, why not donate a basic need to your neighbors? That need is blood.

“My mom got me into it and we’ve been going to appointments ever since,” said Charles Wallace, who is a frequent blood donor.

Wallace, who lives with autism, has a passion for giving back to those in need. His rare blood type, O negative, is critically needed. 

He gets an alert when his donation has saved babies in the NICU.

“I really get the text messages frequently and very easily,” he said.

RELATED: Local blood banks sound the alarm on short blood supply in Memphis

His mother Ann-Marie Wallace said more young people should donate to patients since there’s a vital need for blood.

“I think it’s good for youth to give back,” Mrs. Wallace. “But also it’s an easy thing to do. Younger people oftentimes don’t have other underlying health issues where they can’t give blood. So as much as possible, I think it’s great for our youth and people to give blood.”

Blood banks across the nation are seeing a shortage in blood supplies. The American Red Cross said supplies haven’t been this low in over a decade.

“It feels really good that we can help other people that need it and it makes them feel better,” said Mrs. Wallace. “To see cancer patients feel better. To know that a baby is feeling better and surviving once they’ve gotten that initial dose of blood.”

For the Wallace family, the short time is takes to save a life is worth rolling up their sleeves.

“I think it is important that we pay it forward now while we’re healthy, because one day we may be in need and need that life-saving blood,” said Mrs. Wallace.

If you'd like to donate blood to the American Red Cross click here. For Vitalant, click here

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