Contributed by Delvina Su
14 November 2009 saw a steady stream of enthusiastic blood donors pouring into the Singapore Expo Hall 8, all eager and excited to do their part for City Harvest Community Services Association’s (CHCSA) blood donation drive held several times throughout the year.
The blood donation center was set up in Conference Rooms 1 to 4, and started from 10am till 4pm. According to CHCSA’s Program Manager, Irene Ho, the blood collected will be treated into 3 components by the Health Science Authority (HSA) before being supplied to hospitals located island wide.
The aim of CHCSA’s blood donation drive was to “help our community cope with the shortage of blood especially during festive seasons, and to help increase Red Cross’s blood units,” says Ho. A blood donation drive planned nearer to festive seasons tends to see a rise in the number of blood donors. According to HSA, 90 000 units of blood are needed annually to treat the ill and injured.
Adding on, Ho said that for every donation drive there are different themes and activities held for the donors. During one particular donation drive, electronic handheld games and board games were loaned to the donors in order to help them pass time. This time round, much to donors’ delight, volunteers from CHCSA went around the various conference rooms handing out free popcorn, marshmallows and candy canes.
Calista Chan, who has donated blood three times thus far in spite of a fear of needles, said “I would encourage my friends to give blood because it is meaningful. Also, with just a few minutes of our time, we can actually save lives.”
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Ho has this to say to all aspiring blood donors, “Donating blood is actually good for our own bodies, as it helps us to build a healthier immune system. Contrary to common belief, the process of blood donation is actually painless.
The donation drive registered a total of 260 donors, which is the equivalent of 200 units (packets) of blood.