Canadian Blood Services is hosting a blood donation event at Sooke elementary school on May 6 between noon and 6 p.m. and event coordinator Patricia Willms is hopeful Sooke residents continue to show their support.
“We had to move our donation events in Sooke from the Legion where we’ve been for seven or eight years to the school because we’re now offering six stations, up from the four that we’ve always had in the past,” said Willms.
“With the extra beds in place, the total time commitment for donors from the time they walk in, to when they get to enjoy their free cookies and juice is only about an hour.”
And although the students of the elementary school are too young to donate blood (you have to be at least 17 years old) the move to the school has the side benefit of providing the teachers with the chance to educate their students about the reasons for giving blood – lessons that may form the foundation for future donors as those children grow to adulthood, said Ann Chabert, one of the organizers for the Blood Service’s Partner for Life campaign.
“The principal at the school was very keen on supporting our move to the school, and it’s lovely to see the support that the school is undertaking,” Chabert said.
“Sooke is a very caring community, and we’re pleased to see that support and caring growing every year.”
Willms stressed there’s a need to educate and promote the giving of blood. In Canada, only about 50 per cent of the population is eligible to give blood with many disqualified for health or other reasons.
“Of the 50 per cent who can give blood, only about three to four per cent actually make that donation. We would love to grow that number as there are numerous different needs for blood throughout the year, ranging from surgeries to stem cells,” Willms said.
Anyone interested in donating blood at the May 6 clinic can reserve a spot by visiting blood.ca and clicking on the Book Now button at the top of the screen. Of course, walk-ins are also welcome.