With spring just around the corner, many individuals are already beginning to plan their summer activities.

Vacations, barbecues, time with friends and family, enjoying the outdoors, or even just lounging around the house are things that many of us enjoy.

However, when you are a patient in an area hospital, these things may seem out of reach.

For some the road to recovery is short, for others it seems long and unattainable. Every day individuals help patients by donating blood.

During the months of February and March, individuals who can donate blood to the American Red Cross Blood Services Northeastern Pennsylvania Region can enter to win an eight day/seven night vacation and a $500 VISA gift card courtesy of Sundance Vacations.

Depending on which vacation the winner chooses, they can visit Myrtle Beach or Hilton Head, SC and possibly bring up to five guests.

"Blood transfusions are a vital part to many patients' treatments and would not be possible without the compassionate actions of blood donors," stated Shannon Ludwig, communications manager for Blood Services Northeastern Pennsylvania Region. "We are very fortunate to partner with Sundance Vacations and cannot thank them enough for their generosity to allow us to offer this token of appreciation to our donors."

Eligible volunteer blood donors can call (800) RED CROSS (800-733-2767), or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment.

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to give blood.

Positive identification is required at the time of donation.