Students from the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at Bishop Macdonell Catholic High School promoted a Blood Drive through Canadian Blood Services to encourage donations this past week.
Grade 11 students, Yashas Khatiwada, Mariam Dadfar, Jaime Mozley and Arkieon Mangila attracted 57 donors through various promotional channels to help combat a decline in donors in the area.
“We planned and organized the event in the span of a couple of months,” explained Khatiwada. “We shared the importance of donating blood and the impact that each individual could make by contributing to the blood drive. We took to social media by creating our own Instagram account in order to reach more people in our community to share the message and also promoted the blood drive by creating posters and videos for our school.”
Being a part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at Bishop Macdonell, students like Khatiwada, Dadfar, Mozley and Mangila, complete a Creativity Activity Service (CAS) component which encourages students to engage in and reflect on creativity, activity and service experiences.
“The ability to help others through acts of service brings me a sense of purpose and joy. Donating blood is an amazing way to help people in need within the community and especially promoting it to the eligible youth of our school, as students at Bishop Mac students are always looking for opportunities to help others,” said Khatiwada.
For many Canadians, blood transfusions are a lifesaving resource. At this time, there is an immediate need for blood in the Guelph area.
“We almost always have same day and open appointments at the Guelph Donor Centre, 130 Silvercreek Pkwy N,” shared Rachael Henderson Community Development Manager Donor Relations with the Canadian Blood Services.
Across Canada, Henderson explained that the national blood inventory has declined by 25 per cent since the start of April following an increase in appointment cancellations and low attendance at donor centres across Canada combined with the constant need for blood.
“In fact, we have lost 31,000 donors during the pandemic, resulting in the smallest donor base in a decade. One in two people in Canada are eligible to donate blood, plasma, and platelets, but only one in 81 does. A small group of regular donors is meeting the needs of the entire country, which is unsustainable,” she added.
With the decline in donors both locally and nationally reaching a dire point, having students encourage donations works to reach a wider community that will hopefully lead to repeat donors.
“Organizing an event like the blood drive makes students aware of the national and global issue of the need for blood; the organizing students raised awareness among the student body that blood is an important part of everyday medical care in Canada and encouraged students to give back to their communities through the simple act of donating blood,” said Amy Wilson, CAS Coordinator at Bishop Macdonell CHS.
Anyone who is eligible to donate can book their appointment by calling 1-888-2-DONATE or visiting blood.ca to make an appointment. If you’re not sure if you’re eligible to donate blood, you can take our eligibility quiz at https://www.blood.ca/en/blood/am-i-eligible-donate-blood