Donating blood on a Sunday afternoon probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind for a high school outing.
But that’s exactly how 17 students from Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary spent a recent Sunday.
The school is competing in Canadian Blood Services’ Young Blood for Life campaign, running from September to June across the country.
The program is a student-led challenge that aims to increase the number of blood donations and first-time donors among students aged 17 and older.
Through a partnership between FedEx Express and Canadian Blood Services, participating schools have the chance to win local, provincial and national prizes, based on the number of units of blood collected.
LTS science teacher Michele Stea said the students made a group blood donation on Sunday, Nov. 22 at the clinic at Cloverdale Catholic Parish Centre.
Stea hopes the example set by students will help recruit another generation of donors by getting other schools to participate in Young Blood for Life, and in turn, become life-long donors.
The student blood donor program at Lord Tweedsmuir began in 2006.
Since then, hundreds of students have become blood donors, and many alumni have continued to donate blood.
During last year’s Young Blood for Life campaign, high school students at participating schools across the country donated close to 19,000 units of blood and more than 5,000 new donors gave blood.
Over the past six years, Young Blood for Life has collected almost 99,000 donations and recruited over 35,000 new donors.
According to Canadian Blood Services, one in two Canadians are eligible to give blood. Last year, one in 60 did so.
• CBS needs about 170,000 additional donors to maintain the national blood supply
• At any given time there are hundreds of Canadians searching for a stem cell donor
• More than 4,500 people are waiting for organ transplants but only a fraction of Canadians are registered to donate
The next local clinic is Jan. 17, 2016 at Cloverdale Catholic Parish Centre, 17475 59 Avenue.
To register for the next clinic, visit blood.ca.