Canadian Blood Services is asking eligible Canadians to “Give a holiday miracle” by donating blood during the days around Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
The CBS estimates a need for 25,000 Canadians to donate blood so it can meet the needs of hospital patients across Canada.
In Hamilton, there is a need for 480 donors in order to help meet this goal.
Collecting blood during the holiday season is a challenge, says Canadian Blood Services, as many donors go away or are busy with other activities. Yet many patients will spend their holiday receiving cancer treatment or undergoing life-saving surgery and emergency care.
“We’d like to thank Hamilton and area residents who took the time to donate blood so far this holiday season, but we need that generosity to continue through the end of the year,” says Denise Saulnier, community development co-ordinator for the Ancaster blood donor clinic. “As the year draws to an end, do something that embodies the spirit and generosity of the season—give blood. It costs you nothing, and it’ll give someone a holiday miracle.”
Hours of operation at the Ancaster blood donor clinic, located at 35 Stone Church Rd., during the holidays are:
• Monday 4-8 p.m. (open 8 a.m. to noon on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and New Year's Eve)
• Tuesday 8 a.m.-noon (closed Christmas Day)
• Wednesday 4-8 p.m.
• Thursday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
• Saturday 8 a.m.-noon
Platelets, which are derived from blood donations, are of particular concern around the holiday season, says Saulnier. Because platelets only have a shelf life of five days, it is not possible to “stock up” ahead of time. Patients with diseases such as cancer need large quantities of platelets as part of their treatment.
See www.blood.ca or call 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283) to book an appointment to donate.