Our thoughts are with our B.C. employees, donors and volunteers
As many of you have seen in the news, heavy rainstorms have caused extensive floods and mudslides in parts of B.C., blocking major highways and impacting travel in many areas. We know that communities across the entire province have or may be impacted and we are monitoring the situation closely with the Local Emergency Response Teams (LERT). While some donation events have been postponed or cancelled, we are managing blood inventory by leveraging our national reserves. This means that when inclement weather impacts donations, we can pull inventory from other areas of the country, if needed, to ensure hospital and patient needs are met. Our thoughts are with our colleagues in the affected areas, and we are grateful for emergency personnel and crews who are on site.
How an Indigenous cord blood donor was inspired by a patient
Yesterday, on World Cord Blood Day, we shared the inspiring story of Lena Mallary, who recently donated her baby’s umbilical cord blood. Lena and her partner, Cory Greenhalgh, had a powerful motivation to join Canada’s Lifeline after seeing cord blood stem cells save the life of a young family friend. “Our baby was an incredible surprise and we wanted to share that miracle with a patient by donating her cord blood,” says Lena, who is Haida and comes from the Maaman Gitanee clan in Old Massett, B.C. Read more on blood.ca/stories.
Celebrating our supporters on National Philanthropy Day
Each year on Nov. 15, we celebrate the incredible impact philanthropic giving has on Canada’s Lifeline and on causes around the world. This year, Canadian Blood Services supporters received a very special video message of gratitude from Neill Spencer. Neill is a blood, platelet and stem cell recipient, and a financial donor. Watch Neill’s video message and read more about the impact financial supporters have at Canadian Blood Services on Connect.
Increasing visibility of and commemorating the trans community
This week (Nov. 13–19) is Transgender Awareness Week, an annual observance dedicated to increasing visibility and awareness of the transgender community and advancing advocacy around issues of prejudice, discrimination and violence affecting trans individuals and communities.
The week culminates with Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20, which commemorates all the trans people we have lost in Canada and around the world, due to transphobic violence in all forms. The day was founded in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honour Rita Hester, a Black transgender American woman, who was murdered the previous year.
At Canadian Blood Services, we are constantly striving to create safer, more inclusive experiences for all employees, donors, volunteers, partners and stakeholders, including people from the trans community.
Here are some additional resources you may find helpful:
Question of the day: Is there going to be a standard approach to how we will decorate our facilities and permanent donor centres this holiday season, keeping in mind diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) considerations?
We are entering into a festive time of year, where many holidays are observed and celebrated by people from diverse cultures and religions. As you and your colleagues begin to make plans to share in the holiday spirit, it is important to think about how to create an inclusive environment while engaging in seasonal festivities.
While holiday decorations and celebrations are intended to lift spirits and bring joy, they can sometimes create inequity. As such, it is important to ensure that we are not giving the impression that one set of holidays or beliefs is more important or more acceptable than others.
Employees are encouraged to put up festive and cheerful decor but are asked to ensure that any decor is non-denominational and is respectful and inclusive of donor, employee and volunteer traditions and beliefs. Remember to make space to support your colleagues and learn about different cultures, religions, nationalities, groups and identities.
When considering holiday decor, we ask that you keep the following considerations and guidelines in mind, which take into account COVID-19 protocols, our commitment to DEI and our brand:
- Facilities is the only group that coordinates decoration of public areas.
- Refrain from putting up freestanding decorations such as trees or inflatables in small spaces so as not to impede physical distancing measures or cleaning practices. Some good practices include:
- Hanging decorations in higher places e.g. along top of cubicle walls
- Ensuring nothing is hung from ceilings or from sprinkler heads
- Being extra cautious to avoid multiple people touching decorations
- Keep our value of respect and inclusivity at the forefront.
- Avoid covering any branded elements.
- We also encourage an approach that encompasses our head and heart feel:
- The "head" part of our brand incorporates lots of white space and a clean look and feel
- The "heart" part of our brand brings in the aspects of employee/donor engagement and holiday spirit
- Please ensure all festive decor is removed by Jan. 10, 2022.
Note that these guidelines apply only to shared spaces. Employees may decorate their individual workstations as they wish, while keeping our values of respect and inclusion at the forefront.
About Your Digest
This digest highlights the latest policy and employee support measures, resources to help you manage our new reality and original content to remind us that what we do matters. This information can be found on blood.ca/employees from any device, no login required.
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