Posted by Christopher Loat on Jul 19, 2022
Based on a donor screening process, one in every two people is able to give blood, but only 1 in 81 people actually give blood. This lack of blood donors regularly leads to a significant shortage of blood when compared with the demand for blood from hospitals in their ongoing treatment of patients.
Even when the blood inventory is good in the healthcare system some hospitals are forced to cancel elective procedures, such as heart and cancer surgeries, for lack of some components in the blood, such as platelets, which have a very short shelf life, and of rare blood types. Of course, there is a constant demand for blood in treating trauma patients in accidents and providing regular transfusions for cancer patients.
The Rotary Club of West Vancouver Sunrise joined Canadian Blood Services in the "Partners for Life Program." Soon afterwards the COVID pandemic hit. This meant that donations could only be made at the two CBS locations on Oak Street and Dunsmuir Street in Vancouver.
That led to a slow start for the Rotary sponsored program in West Vancouver, but through partnerships with other organisations in the community the program could expand when Canadian Blood Services allowed collections in venues other than the two Vancouver ones. This year the Rotary-led community program aimed to achieve 97 pints of blood, but exceeded that by 7% with 107 pints donated. 
Canadian Blood Services booked the Congregation Har El then the Rotary Club of West Vancouver Sunrise reached out to the West Vancouver Chamber of Commerce and the West Vancouver Foundation to help promote the event. The West Vancouver Sunrise club also reached out and gained support of the Mayor of West Vancouver and Enhance West Vancouver.
West Vancouver Sunrise supported a Canadian Blood Services donor clinic at the Congregation Har El
which attracted 107 donors, including West Vancouver Mayor Mary-Ann Booth (bottom left)
The Rotary organizers also communicated with North Shore News, North Shore Daily Post, the Vancouver West End newspaper, The Beacon, with the clubs, Lions and Soroptimists, Park Royal shopping centre, many West Vancouver churches, School District 45, West Vancouver Police, and West Vancouver Fire & Rescue.
The blood donated at the Rotary supported clinic is being used in various medical procedures, along
with the products harvested from the blood, to improve the health  and quality of life for many in our community
The West Vancouver Sunrise club is one of 78 Rotary Clubs across Canada which have signed up to the CBS Partners for Life program. To volunteer at a blood donor clinic, volunteers have to go through an online training course and then volunteer with a mentor for the first time at a clinic. West Vancouver Sunrise Rotarians completed both parts of this training and led to five volunteers helping the healthcare workers in the clinic at Congregation Har El.
The West Vancouver Sunrise club plans another clinic in November and one in February and to continue promoting and supporting these clinics.
CONTACT: Christopher Loat, Rotary Club of West Vancouver Sunrise,
Like a true champion, the Rotary Club of West Vancouver Sunrise has been a formidable and dependable partner for Canadian Blood Services. Since joining the Partners for Life program in September 2021, the organization has been a strong supporter of Canada’s Lifeline. 
In spring 2022, these Rotarians answered the call when Canadian Blood Services began its first rotation of blood donation events in the area. The donor relations team addressed the group with three specific requests: to help reach high school students, to secure volunteers for in-clinic events and to expand community outreach. 
The Club went above and beyond in fulfilling these requests. Not only did the Rotarians help us to secure partnerships with the high schools in their community, but they have also been fully staffing our events with volunteers, as well as engaging their network more widely. Most recently, they’ve secured a partnership with BC Ferries.  
Here’s how it happened. Canadian Blood Services provides donation services on some parts of Vancouver Island, but donors on the beautiful Sunshine Coast and islands near West Vancouver must come to the Lower Mainland to donate blood. As we began working with the Rotary Club to grow our donor base in West Vancouver, we discussed the transportation barrier for Sunshine Coast residents. Club members pointed out that the municipality of West Vancouver hosts a ferry terminal providing access to the Sunshine Coast and nearby islands. They reached out to BC Ferries and were able to secure complimentary ferry travel vouchers for distribution to Sunshine Coast donors. Our most recent event, in July 2023, was the first to benefit from BC Ferries support.  
Given this initial success, BC Ferries plans to continue its support by offering complimentary ferry vouchers, good for travel on the day of a donation event, for Sunshine Coast residents who make the effort to donate. The Rotary Club of West Vancouver Sunrise will be responsible for distributing these vouchers.  
The Rotary Club of West Vancouver Sunrise is indeed living up to their motto: “Service Above Self.”
-- Christopher Loat