You can now use Facebook to find a place to donate blood near you

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(Courtesy of Facebook)

In an effort to help fight a decline in blood donation in the United States, Facebook has launched a feature that helps connect would-be donors to blood centers in need.

"We hope that bringing the Blood Donations feature to the U.S. will make people more aware of the ongoing need for donations," Facebook's Health Product Director Hema Budaraju wrote in a blog post, "and that communities come together to help ensure everyone has access to safe blood when they need it."

The Blood Donation feature is available right now in Chicago, New York City, the San Francisco Bay area, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. It will roll out nationwide in the coming months, the company said.

This is how it works.

Go to the About section of your Facebook profile or click here. Then sign up to be a blood donor and receive updates.

When a blood donation center near you requests donations, you'll receive a notification. If you have time to donate, you can head over to the center and potentially save someone's life.

You can also see requests and opportunities to donate on Blood Donations on Facebook.

At this time, Facebook has partnered with America's Blood Centers, American Red Cross, Inova, New York Blood Center, Rock River Valley Blood Center, Stanford Blood Center, Versiti, and Vitalant.

"Through our partnership with Facebook, individuals will be able to conveniently find and connect with their local blood center to help meet the ongoing need for a diverse pool of blood donors in the US and share their experiences and the importance of blood donation," America's Blood Centers CEO Kate Fry said in a statement. "By encouraging blood donation as a way of life, each of us can assure that the more than 30,000 pints of blood used daily throughout the country is available."