Blood clinic comes just in time for Christmas season

“We are preparing for the Christmas season,” said Marta Boulton, charge nurse for Canadian Blood Services. “It is hard because people are busy during the holidays, but if there’s an accident those people can’t wait — they need blood right away.”

Nienke Palsma donates blood Nov. 25 at the Ponoka blood donation drive at the Kinsmen Community Centre.

By Jasmine Franklin

Residents of Ponoka filled the Kinsmen Community Centre Nov. 25 in the good cause of giving blood just before Christmas.

“We are preparing for the Christmas season,” said Marta Boulton, charge nurse for Canadian Blood Services. “It is hard because people are busy during the holidays, but if there’s an accident those people can’t wait — they need blood right away.”

The clinic, from 3 to 7 p.m., already seen 45 people by 3:30 p.m. Boulton said 157 were expected to donate blood.

“It’s a good gift to give and only takes up time, not monetary value,” Boulton said.

It’s a gift that Neinke Palsma gives every two months. With her sleeves rolled up and her veins ready, Palsma sat patiently while she donated two cups of blood, or 480 ml, for someone who may need it.

“You never know, maybe I will need it in the future sometime,” Palsma said. “It’s really easy and can make such a difference.”

And one local franchise has been doing its part for the past seven years to ensure blood gets donated. Ponoka’s Subway, managed by Brian Russell, uses its own money to supply $200 worth of subs and cookies at every blood donation clinic in town.

“At least everyone can get something,” Russell said. “Its such a small contribution to save a life.”

Russell said the store has been providing for seven years and will gladly do it for seven more. As a child, Russell’s father who was an army man who told him how many lives blood could save and ever since then he has valued blood donation.

Before donating blood, Boulton asks individuals to block off one hour due to screening processes and the blood donation itself.

To book an appointment call 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283) and for more information visit www.bloodservices.ca

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