“When was last time you spent an hour saving someone's life?” 

Brett Lawrence, Community Development Manager with Canadian Blood Services, says it can be quick and easy to save someone’s life, all you have to do is donate blood. 

“At the end of the day, there is no substitute for a blood transfusion. If someone's treatment does require blood transfusion, if they're in a car accident, they're getting heart surgery, or they're getting cancer treatment, we aren't able to give them another medical product,” he says. “It is blood that they need in that situation, and the way we get that blood is by people all over Canada donating blood, so it's really strangers connecting with strangers.” 

He notes that one person donating blood doesn’t necessarily equal one person receiving blood. 

An example of this could be a patient undergoing leukemia treatment. 

“A leukemia patient could need up to eight units a week for one week of treatment. So eight different people need to donate for one individual undergoing leukemia treatment.”  

Also, a surprising amount of blood can be needed when it comes to emergencies. 

“It could be a car accident where up to 50 people could have to donate for one person in a car collision.”  

There are also people that need blood transfusions regularly their whole lives. 

No matter what blood type you are, you are encouraged to donate. 

"We need all blood types because all blood types can be used. O negative is always in high-demand, because in emergency situations folks are given O negative blood right away. It's the universal donor, meaning that it can be given to anyone." 

If you’re nervous about donating blood for the first time, Lawrence suggests coming with a group of friends. 

“It's a great group activity, it's not something you have to do on your own. It takes about an hour of your time and that needle is only in your arm for about 10-15 minutes, and then you get free food.” 

Canadian Blood Services is in Steinbach about twice a month on Mondays at the Steinbach Evangelical Mennonite Church on Main Street. 

“We usually run our mobiles there from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM, and people can book their spots at blood.ca by phoning 1-888-236-6283 or by downloading the GiveBlood app.” 

The upcoming dates in Steinbach are Monday March 11 and Monday March 18, and both are fully booked at the moment. 

Lawrence says last-minute cancellations do occur, so even if a date is full, you can still check in to see if an opening appears. 

“If people look into the availability a couple of days before those dates, some people might cancel and there could be some openings.” 

You can currently book an appointment to donate blood in Steinbach for April 8, April 22, or May 13.