Giving Hope Today by Giving Blood

by Caroline Franks
Categories: Divisional News

The Salvation Army in Ontario came together during the week of April 19-24 to donate blood with Canadian Blood Services in 13 locations throughout Ontario. Over 40 Salvationists, staff, volunteers and supporters donated blood, saving numerous lives across Canada. 

“When Canadian Blood Services identified the critical need for blood donations, The Salvation Army Ontario Division answered the call together, because everyone needs an Army,” said Glenn van Gulik, Divisional Secretary for Public Relations with The Salvation Army Ontario Division. “It’s great to know that a simple gift of blood can help so many people and even save a life.”

Canadian Blood Services and The Salvation Army have a similar mission, giving hope every day to those who need it most. Jennifer Larlee, Divisional Events Coordinator with The Salvation Army said, “It’s an honour to be in a partnership that inspires us all to give back to help others and to save a life.” 

Answering the call in Barrie, The Salvation Army Barrie Thrift Store staff came together to donate blood for the very first time. 

“The Salvation Army Ontario Division put out a call to action asking its communities to donate blood. Six staff members rolled up their sleeves and gave the gift of life,” said a staff member. “A fantastic team at Canadian Blood Services looked after us, and safe to say, we’ll be back!” 

When Jodie Yule, Divisional Events Coordinator with The Salvation Army, received the information about the blood drive, she immediately signed up to donate in London. 

“I donated blood because I feel strongly about the importance of not just blood donation but also organ donation,” said Jodie. “If I am able to help save a life, then sign me up!”

Dan Millar, Divisional Director of Community Partnerships and Emergency Disaster Services with The Salvation Army, has first-hand experience of the importance of blood donation. 

“My mother has a blood disease called Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) a disease of the bone marrow which causes red blood cells to not form properly. She needs a blood transfusion every three weeks to maintain hemoglobin levels. When you donate blood, you are helping people like my mother.”

Territory Manager of Donor Relations for Canadian Blood Services, Jenn Bruno, highlights the importance of organizations partnering with Canadian Blood Services. 

“Our Partners for Life program offers Canadian organizations the opportunity to give meaningfully and accomplish team goals while inspiring others to donate,” said Jenn.

“The Salvation Army engaged their networks in a meaningful, collaborative project, and together they were able to complete over 40 whole donations by adopting our donor centres across 13 different cities in Ontario.”

The generosity of all the Salvationists, friends, partners, staff and volunteers who donated blood has an immediate impact in the community. 

“We are immensely grateful for those who made blood donations, as a single blood donation can make a lifesaving difference to someone in need,” said Jenn. “Thank you very much Salvation Army for engaging your community and recruiting blood donors for this life saving initiative and for your continued support of Canadas Lifeline!”

Canadian Blood Services is continuing to schedule blood donations throughout COVID-19, as the need for blood is constant. To register or for more information, visit

By: Heather Prystanski