Lethbridge Herald
July 30, 2019

Canadian Blood Services has teamed up with Mothers Against Drunk Driving Lethbridge and Area to host their second annual Drive to Save Lives campaign, where they are encouraging the community to donate blood over the month of August.

While the campaign encourages people to help save lives in the community, it also is discouraging drinking and driving and promoting safe rides. Monday morning, Canadian Blood Services and MADD Lethbridge members met with local car dealerships and other organizations to show how many individual donations it would take to help one person who has been severely injured in an impaired driving collision.

“We are promoting and kicking off the campaign with Canadian Blood Services which is the Drive to Save Lives, which is where Canadian Blood Services challenges all of the dealerships here in Lethbridge to donate blood throughout the month of August,” says Anita Huchala, president of MADD Lethbridge & Area.

“The idea behind the 50 people is that when you are involved in either an accident or an impaired crash and you sustain internal injuries, it takes approximately 50 donations or more to sustain your life.”

Drive to Save Lives is running through the entire month of August and Lethbridge Blood Services is wanting to accomplish their goal of over 150 blood donations and 15 new regular donors in the community. This time of year, Canadian Blood Services sees less donations from people and are hoping the community will step up and help keep the blood bank full.

“Donating blood is important because every minute of every day, someone in Canada needs blood, and for someone in a car accident, it can take a lot of donors to save someone’s life,” says Lisa Castro, territory manager at Canadian Blood Services.

“Throughout the month of August, we need at least 270 donors to walk through our doors at the Lethbridge Donation Centre and during the long weekend alone, there is about 70 appointments that need to be filled so we are really urging residents to donate blood and save some lives.”

Car dealerships throughout the city have come together to promote this campaign, and have assembled their own teams of staff to go down to the donation centre and help support people in need. Dealerships say it was easy to come on board as they put vehicles on the road and feel a responsibility to educate the public and support these organizations.

“We are a family business and we have put a lot of vehicles on the road and MADD involves driving and we feel like we have a responsibility to help the community out,” says Shaun Henderson, dealer partner with Dunlop Ford. “We have an event here on the sixth of August where people can come down and get their blood type tested, it only takes a few minutes, and they can learn a little more about becoming a donor.”

People who are unable to donate blood during the Drive to Save Lives campaign are able to give financially, volunteer, and encourage other in their network to become donors. If you would like to donate blood, download the GiveBlood app, call 1 888 2 Donate (1-888-236-6283) or book online at blood.ca. Walk-in appointments are also available at all locations.