Make donating blood a Christmas tradition: more than 500 open appointments in Red Deer

While celebrating the holiday season, Canadian Blood Services hopes people will think of starting a new festive tradition — donating blood.

Until the end of the year, the Red Deer’s blood donor clinic, 5020 68th St., has more than 500 open appointments, Shaun Richer, Canadian Blood Services Central Alberta territory manager, said.

“We have about 560 appointment available for people to book,” said Richer. “The week of Boxing Day is quite open. We get that people are busy, but don’t forget about us. The need is always there.

“If you’re out and about with your family, why don’t you come down and make it a family affair.”

In a typical day, Richer said they can fit in close to 100 blood donation appointments.

Noting the Christmas season is typically a down time for blood donations, Red Deer’s blood donor clinic launched a campaign in November to recruit more potential donors.

Richer said the campaign was going well, but hoped more people would book an appointment.

“December is always tough for us,” he said. “We know Christmas is coming up and people take holidays and it’s just a slower month for us.

“Even though we’re doing a push right now, there’s always a need. There’s a constant need.”

Thursday to Saturday, the Red Deer blood donor clinic is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, it is open from 3 to 7 p.m.

During a typical donation, 450 ml is collected by Canadian Blood Services.

Appointments can be booked online at www.blood.ca, through the GiveBlood smartphone app, or by calling 1-888-236-6828.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

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