On Wednesday, Oct. 17, UFV will host Canadian Blood Services for a blood donation clinic. Those interested can join the UFV Alumni Association, the Student Union Society, and Biology and Chemistry Student Association (BCSA) in Evered Hall in the Student Union Building from noon to 7 p.m. to participate. The event is open to all students, alumni, faculty, staff, and the public.
This annual blood drive celebrates six years this year, and has been run by the BCSA at UFV. These students are resourceful opportunists, and have been able to establish an incredibly successful reoccurring UFV event. However, a problem they have encountered is the inevitable turnover in leadership of the organization as students graduate.
Canadian Blood Services prefers to book their blood clinics over a year in advance, and student associations such as the BCSA often don’t know whom the next president of the student association will be that far in advance. This has made it quite challenging for Canadian Blood Services to navigate the booking, planning, and promotion processes. Therefore, as of last year the UFV Alumni Association has stepped in as a partner in the annual event, in order to ensure it runs smoothly.
When asked how successful last year’s event was, manager of alumni relations Whitney Fordham said that last year’s goal was to collect 101 donations. They successfully met that goal, collecting 102 blood donations as well as 50 stem cell donor registrants. Since the first event in 2012, there have been a grand total of 696 blood donations collected at UFV.
Fordham also elaborated on the newest development in UFV’s relationship with Canadian Blood Services. Partners for Life is a nationwide program that allows community organizations to work with Canadian Blood Services to help save lives. According to the UFV event page for the drive, this program will give individuals in the UFV community the opportunity to make a difference by donating blood, platelets, and plasma. By pre-registering to donate online while using a Partners for Life ID code, participants can label their donation as attributed to the UFV Alumni Association’s Partners for Life team.
“The benefit to signing up as a Partner for Life is to see the impact that our UFV community is having, to track how many lives we save each year, to challenge ourselves, etc.,” Fordham said. “We are starting small this year, but as we roll out the program over the next few years we hope to offer incentives such as prizes.”
The Alumni Association encourages all members of the UFV community to take part in this potentially life-saving opportunity by registering to donate online using the ID number UFVA480702. One does not have to pre-register in order to donate blood and walk-ins will be accepted. However, in order to avoid potentially long wait times, it is recommended that those interested book an appointment ahead of time online at https://myaccount.blood.ca/en/donate/.
If you are unable to attend the blood drive, or are unable to donate, you can also assist Canadian Blood Services by making a financial donation on their website, or applying to become a volunteer.