Laurier’s first holiday blood drive helping community

By CityNews Kitchener Staff

With only 1 in 81 Canadians donating blood every year, and about 1 in 2 Canadians needing blood in the future, the need during the holidays for blood donations doesn’t disappear.

Wilfrid Laurier University is hosting their first holiday blood drive to give back to the community. It runs from November 27 to December 22.

Laurier is a member of the Canadian Blood Services’ Partners for Life program.

“Each year, Laurier makes a pledge of blood donations to keep Canada’s Lifeline healthy and strong,” said Wilfrid Laurier University’s communications department in an email to CityNews Kitchener. “For 2023, Laurier has pledged 475 donations. Wilfrid Laurier University has contributed over 5,000 blood donations since joining the Partner for Life program in 2010.”

Deanne Piticco, interim director of Wilfrid Laurier alumni relations donated blood for the 25 time on December first, in honour of her friend whom she met at Wilfrid Laurier University that unfortunately passed away from breast cancer but inspired people to commit good deeds in her memory.

“Heidi, who started the social campaign – put a kind deed in your feed – to celebrate her birthday, she was receiving cancer treatment on her birthday on September 7, 2021, and she wanted to have good news surrounding her and positive vibes and something to feel really positive about, so she started this social campaign,” said Piticco.

Heidi Schlumpf passed away on August 10, 2022. Piticco continues to honour her friend’s legacy by donating blood.

“That’s the one small thing I do to honor Heidi as my kind deed but certainly you can donate more then once a year.”

According to Canadian Blood Services, there are about 17.5 million eligible donors in the country, but less than 2 per cent actually donate blood or plasma.

“The need for blood never takes a holiday,” said Piticco. “I’m certain its challenging to make the time during this period but certainly the need never stops and it really does not take very long.”

Staff, students, alumni and friends of Wilfrid Laurier University are encouraged to give blood this holiday season as part of Laurier’s Partners for Life team.

“The Partners for Life program is just a way to have your donation be part of that kind of collective gift that we can give back to the community,” added Piticco.

Appointments must be booked in advance for blood donations. Donations for Laurier’s holiday blood drive can be made at any Canadian Blood Services donor centre or mobile clinic in Waterloo Region.

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