FARMINGTON — The American Red Cross needs blood, badly.

Over the past 11 weeks in Connecticut, blood donations to the Red Cross are down about 8.5 percent, said Steve Mavica, a communications manager for the American Red Cross. That equates to about 80,000 fewer people donating, he said.

Mavica said blood donations nationally are down about 8 percent.

"It's higher than the national average," Mavica said. "It's continuing to trend down and we're asking folks to come in now."

Mavica said summer is always a difficult time for blood donations because many people are on vacation and schools and universities are not in session. He said about 20 percent of blood donations come from schools.

"There's an overarching concern where we don't want to get to a place where we aren't stable," Mavica said. "We want people to come in so hospitals can continue to use the blood and save lives."

Jeff Meyer, CEO of American Red Cross Massachusetts and Connecticut Blood Services Regions, said he is campaigning for people to become more consistent blood donors.

"We need consistent donations and people to be regular blood donors," Meyer said.

Meyer said the Red Cross will accept all blood donors, but are specifically asking folks with blood types O negative, B negative and A negative to help.

Blood donors are asked to call 800-733-2767 or visit to make an appointment to donate blood.

Blood drives are scheduled in several locations in Greater Hartford:

Saturday July 26

•St. Joseph Church, 29 Edson St. New Britain 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

•Church of the Living God, 199 Deming St., Manchester 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

•American Red Cross Blood Services, 209 Farmington Ave., Farmington 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

•Healthtrax, 842 Clark Ave., Bristol 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sunday July 27

•Farmington American Red Cross 209 Farmington Ave., Farmington 7:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Monday July 28:

•Congregation Kol Haverim 1079 Hebron Ave, Glastonbury, 1:30 p.m. to 6:p.m.