Taree's Stephen Harvey knows too well that donating blood makes a difference.
With about 164 donations under his belt, he revealed why frequent trips to the blood bank are crucial to help save lives.
"I lost some friends when I was very young in road accidents and I thought it was just a good thing to give back to the community, helping other people who may have illnesses or been in accidents," Mr Harvey said.
He's just one of 470,000 donors who were recognised for their service in National Blood Donor Week.
In the spirit of the week, the Australia Red Cross Blood Service encouraged Taree residents to make donations a regular habit.
Almost half of all first-time Australian blood donors are one and done.
From the 91,000 people who gave blood for the first time in the past year, 43 per cent didn't return.
Blood Bank spokesperson Nicky Breen said the Taree centre needs additional donors to roll up their sleeves in the next year.
"During National Blood Donor Week we say thank you to all our donors for their generosity and life-saving gifts," Nicky said.
"These amazing donors can't do it alone. Australia needs a new blood donor every five minutes. We need more people like Stephen to make blood or plasma donation a regular, life-saving habit.
"It takes just an hour of your time to donate blood and every donation can help save up to three lives."
To book an appointment, call 13 14 95 or visit www.donateblood.com.au.
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