(WIVB) – January is always a difficult time for blood donation centers- and this year, COVID-19 has made the need for blood donations greater than ever.

Perry’s Ice Cream is stepping up to offer people who donate blood through ConnectLife a certificate for a free pint of ice cream this month.

The “Give a Pint, Get a Pint” promotion runs through Jan. 30.

“We saw that the Buffalo Bills had a program going on with ConnectLife, and we thought that we should do something too, since the need is so critical,” said Gayle Denning, vice president of marketing for Perry’s Ice Cream said.

Perry’s has set a goal of collecting 2,200 pints this month.

“Winter is usually a difficult time- it’s cold and flu season, now combined with COVID- folks are away from school and work, and blood donation isn’t at the top of their minds,” Amanda Farrell, director of donor recruitment for ConnectLife said.

The “Give a Pint, Get a Pint” is encouraging people to donate, Farrell added.

“It’s an incentive for people to come down and donate,” Farrell said. “It’s helped to increase our appointments and donors coming into our sites.”

ConnectLife supplies about 75 percent of the blood in Western New York, and there’s a constant need.

However, COVID-19 forced the organization to cancel many of their blood drives in 2020.

“We’ve had well over 600 blood drives canceled since March- that’s about 5,000 units of blood,” Farrell said. “The need has not gone down.”

You can find a blood drive by you here.

ConnectLife is partnering with Tops Markets and Crosby’s this month and will have its mobile unit outside some WNY stores this month to help people sign up. The upcoming dates are: