In March 2013 I gave blood for the 75th time. This is a significant milestone for blood donors where we are acknowledged for our efforts in donating blood so many times. We receive a ‘75’ pin and there is an awards ceremony where we’re presented with a certificate.

Ahead of time my students made a big ‘75’ sign which I took with me to the Manulife Centre in Toronto where I gave my 75th blood donation. I wanted to share this special event with my grade 3 and 4 French Immersion students. In class we celebrated with a cake decorated in icing with “Congratulations – 75 Blood donations, Mme W.!” and took photos in front of a brightly painted, student-made banner.

I started giving blood at the age of 19, took a few years off donating and then came back full force over the past decade. Every time I donate blood I show my students my “Be nice, I donated blood today” sticker and tell them I’ve donated blood again and how important it is. I answer any questions they have and tell them that it’s something they can possibly do when they turn 17.

In school we also have watched some of the Canadian Blood Services video clips showing adults and children who had been recipients of donated blood. I’m sincerely hoping that I’m planting seeds in this younger generation to encourage them to make blood donations. In November I made my 79th blood donation… getting closer to my 100 donation goal! It’s so important to me that I’m helping people in need of blood and that I’m showing a young generation of children how they too can help when it’s their time.

Photo courtesy of Sally Warburton