MTO Shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism® is dedicated to serving the community

Partners for Life members MTO Shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism® holding reason signs.

Partners for Life team members from MTO Shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism® at Canadian Blood Services’ Oak Street donor centre in Vancouver. 

MTO Shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism® is a global non-profit organization, and service (khedmat in Farsi) is one of the main tenets of Sufism. Khedmat means to serve and support one’s community with care and compassion.  

MTO’s activities involve interfaith efforts that span a range of community, charitable and educational initiatives. More recently, the organization has also led disaster-response missions to support those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. MTO is always looking for more ways to participate and be involved in charitable work. 

MTO’s commitment to giving back to the community and practising khedmat has resulted in regular group blood drives in partnership with Canadian Blood Services. The organization set up a Partners for Life team to support Canada’s Lifeline and help others. Luckily, two volunteers with MTO Vancouver are also Canadian Blood Services employees, so making the connection was easy.  

“We brought up the idea of donating blood and organizing group blood drives during one of our charity brainstorming sessions,” says Aryan Khoshnevis, a donor services representative with Canadian Blood Services who is also one of the champions for MTO’s Partners for Life team.  

“Everyone loved the idea, so we got a group together and began the process of booking our first team event. For our first event, in December 2021, we started with 15 appointments. We welcomed 25 donors to our second event and 42 donors to our most recent one in June. We’ve secured [a total of] 82 donations so far and have reserved 55 MTO team appointment spots for our next event in September.”  

MTO Vancouver’s Partners for Life team has grown its donor base by a whopping 366 per cent in less than a year! The team aims to welcome more donors to each event, with the goal of one day hosting an event that occupies the entire donor centre.   

“Our group members have expressed that because of their interaction with Canadian Blood Services, their confidence in their decision to donate is higher, their life is more meaningful, and they have gained more emotional benefits,” says Aryan. “As group champions, we have experienced the gratification of connecting prospective donors with Canadian Blood Services and hosting successful group donation events. We encourage anyone who can to get a group together and experience this same sense of fulfilment and satisfaction — even if it’s just a group of friends. It makes donating more fun!”