Canadian Blood Services bringing in new ways to attract blood donors

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Gina Bastarache (left) and Raya Donkin of A. P. Reid Insurance proudly display their Partners for Life certificate. Their employer is one of several businesses in Amherst who have signed on for the program.

AMHERST – Canadian Blood Services don’t deny that sometimes, it can be hard to get a lot of blood donors to turn up for their clinics. In an effort to boost their numbers, they’re bringing in a new program, Partners For Life.

“In Amherst, we’ve been doing some work with the program,” said Corey Matheson of Canadian Blood Services. “It’s something we’ve had quite a few people sign on with in the cities and now we’re bringing it out to the smaller areas.”

Although the program isn’t entirely new to Nova Scotia, the program is starting to build connections in the Amherst area.

“We do offer a few incentives to help people sign on,” said Matheson. “We give people a nice plaque for their office. They’re mentioned in our news letters and are invited to our awards ceremony that we have every year.”

As blood donors whose company has signed on as a Partner for Life, any contribution they make would entitles them to receive a certificate in honour of their donations. Anyone who was previously with a company who is a partner for life, their donation would be tracked back to the company.

“It’s a nice way to encourage team building amongst companies,” he said. “Some people might be able to go over together on their lunch.”

So far, Matheson said they’ve signed on a few local businesses. They also managed to sign on the local RCMP.

“Archway Insurance recently signed on and the Super 8 did,” he said naming a few businesses. “And A. P. Reid Insurance have been signed on for a while and they actually took it a step further.”

Along side their donations, the employees also volunteer their time at the donor clinics when they are in Amherst and help prep the refreshment tables.

“We’re called the doughnut girls,” said Raya Donkin, one of the employees. “I started in the blood donor clinic with the Pythian Sisters. Matheson had mentioned the Partners for Life and that was a trigger for me to get all of our stores together to donate blood.”

Donkin said, as a Partner for Life, it’s a great way to get the message out about blood clinics and a great way to create friendly competition between other businesses.

The next blood clinic in Amherst will be Feb. 11 and 12, at the Lions Hall on Electric Street.

Organizations: Partners For Life, Canadian Blood Services, RCMP A. P. Reid Insurance Lions Hall

Geographic location: AMHERST, Nova Scotia, Electric Street

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