Canadian high school students participate in Young Blood for Life donation challenge


National challenge supports growing demand for new blood donors

October 2, 2014 (CANADA) – Getting back to school isn’t the only thing high school students are doing this fall. Many students over the age of 17 will also be learning about saving lives through blood donation while helping Canadian Blood Services meet the needs of patients across the country. Canadian Blood Services is proud to officially launch this year’s Young Blood for Life - a nation-wide, student-led challenge designed to increase blood donations and first-time donors among students age 17 and older.

The campaign runs from September 1, 2014 - May 31, 2015. During that time, Canadian Blood Services will collect 17,000 units of blood each week across Canada and recruit close to 90,000 new donors. With this year’s goal of registering a minimum of 422 schools to donate 23,000 units of blood, and recruit over 6,500 new donors, Young Blood for Life will play an important role in making this happen.

“New donors are key to meeting the future need for blood in this country, especially in light of Canada’s aging population,” says Mark Donnison, Canadian Blood Services vice-president of donor relations. “Thanks to the efforts of students and teachers across the country, this challenge is making a real difference. Young Blood for Life helps us keep pace with the evolving needs for blood and blood products and builds our donor base for the future.  It gives youth a way to learn more about how they can play an important role in helping to save lives – now and in the future.”

During last year’s campaign, high school students at participating schools across the country donated more than 22,000 units of blood and recruited nearly 7,000 new donors who gave blood within the campaign period. Students recruited teachers, friends, and family to donate on behalf of their school.

Among the 430 schools from across Canada that participated in 2013-14, Calgary’s William Aberhart High School captured the highest honour. This high school won nationally for most donations (729) and new donors (127) as well for both Alberta provincial and Calgary permanent clinic donations.

Banting Memorial of Alliston, Ontario won for tying the national new donor winner as well as capturing the top prize for the Barrie permanent clinic.

Since 2009, the Young Blood for Life program has collected 80,000 donations and recruited 30,000 new donors.

Canadian Blood Services needs all eligible Canadians to donate blood and help save lives. Adopt a life-saving habit. Get involved - encourage your school to join Young Blood for Life and help encourage students, peers, family members, and teachers to give blood. For more information about the Young Blood for Life program, email youngbloodforlife@blood.ca or visit blood.ca and select Young Blood for Life under “How can I get involved?”

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