Each year, Canadian Blood Services hosts Honouring Our Lifeblood to recognize the efforts of the thousands of people who contribute so much to the blood system. A volunteer from each region is chosen to represent the thousands of volunteers from across the country who contribute countless smiles, comfort, enthusiasm, warmth, caring and energy so that we can continue to provide hospitals with the blood products and stem cells that are needed to save lives every day. Without volunteers, we couldn’t do what we do.

David Stafford / BC & Yukon
David was a 72-time blood donor and a volunteer at Vancouver General Hospital before becoming an in-community volunteer with Canadian Blood Services. Not only has he taken on a leadership role and provided hands-on coaching to new volunteers but he has also organized and executed street teams and information booths across the Lower Mainland. He regularly goes beyond what’s expected of a volunteer and takes initiative to look into community events that would be most optimal for donor recruitment. Thanks to his contributions, nearly 1,200 people signed up in 2012 to become blood donors.

Tammy Lu / Alberta & NWT
A Health Sciences student at the University of Calgary, Tammy began volunteering with Canadian Blood Services in 2009 while in high school. She volunteers every week at the Calgary clinic as an in-clinic hospitality/donor ambassador and takes additional shifts whenever she can. She has organized LifeBuses to pick up groups, will arrange to donate with or accompany new donors she has recruited and has even gone as far as driving new donors to their appointments.

To date, she has contributed more than 750 hours of volunteer service and has successfully assisted in training more than 20 new hospitality volunteers. As a member of the Calgary Youth Committee, she has been involved with the recruitment of nearly 400 new donors.

Patricia Timms / Prairies
A Registered Nurse in Winnipeg, Patricia has worked in the emergency room as well as with children in hospital care. A blood recipient herself, Patricia understands the need for blood having received six blood transfusions for exploratory surgery and cancer treatment. Her reason for volunteering with Canadian Blood Services is simple: she wants to pay forward the generosity of blood donors. Since 2007, she’s volunteered in the clinic hospitality area, managed information booths, helped out with mobile clinics, supported the What’s Your Type? program, spoke about the need for blood at special events and was recently trained as a blood type tester. She also inspired her daughter who donates regularly and also volunteers with Canadian Blood Services.

Lorna Van Bergen / Central Ontario
A passionate volunteer, Lorna became an in-clinic volunteer in 2010, but soon lent her time and expertise to supporting community events, such as information booths, blood typing and promotional events. A retired high school teacher from Vaughan, Lorna is a wonderful educator and loves working with students to encourage them to become the next generation of blood donors. She is a wealth of knowledge for new volunteers, taking them under her wing until they feel comfortable on their own. As a loyal blood donor for many years, Lorna completed more than 80 donations until a cancer diagnosis impacted her eligibility to donate. Now a cancer survivor, Lorna is committed and enthusiastic about the cause of blood donation.

Crystine Clark / Southern Ontario
Give high school student Crystine Clark an assignment and she will not only finish it, but keep working long after initial expectations are met. Participating in the 2012 Assignment Saving Lives program, which encourages students to recruit blood donors over the summer months, the Waterford District High School student recruited 30 donors. However, Crystine wasn’t content to stop there; she was determined to strengthen her commitment to the blood program. She became a volunteer last October, and now helps out at the Waterford clinic. She also promotes awareness within her school, encouraging her peers to make a difference in their community through blood donation. A few months after Crystine became a volunteer, her aunt required a blood transfusion, an event that reinforced her resolve and strengthened her motivation to recruit donors.

Douglas Billingsley / North/East Ontario & Nunavut
As a Volunteer Leader with the Powassan community blood donor clinic in Ontario, Douglas plays a pivotal role in helping make every clinic a success. In his role, he is responsible for recruiting and scheduling volunteers and helps in the hall set up. He was a blood donor himself, but was unable to continue donating due to an illness and thought “what better way to give back, but to volunteer?” Over the years, Douglas has helped secure sites for What’s Your Type? events and has provided contacts with local business owners, politicians and schools. At 75 and after dedicating 375 hours of volunteer service with Canadian Blood Services, Douglas is an inspiration to old and young people alike.

Dave Thomson / Atlantic
Dave has been volunteering with Canadian Blood Services in Halifax for nearly 25 years. As a committed donor with more than 300 donations, Dave came to know the clinic staff very well and once he retired, he decided to volunteer. He is an advocate for healthy living and is always chatting with donors and staff about the importance of donating blood. Being a former avid runner, he has mentored several staff on running and fitness. He is always eager to help at donor events and takes on any vacant hospitality shifts. He has even had special requests to volunteer at “In Honour” clinics by family members. He provides background music on his shifts and is well known for his “soft shoe” dancing steps.

Photography by Marc Plante