Graduating Halifax students and parents come together to give blood

Group of graduating students standing outside of a Canadian Blood Services Bus
Members of 333 Lifesavers about to board the LifeBus in Halifax, NS.

As many graduating students were planning for the prom this past June, a group from Halifax West High School and their parents marked the end of high school with Canadian Blood Services largest group donation ever to have taken place in Halifax.

The donation project was conceived when a group of students and their parents, who had bonded over the high school years, wanted to begin donating blood together as a way to stay in touch after graduation. The group, now known as 333 Lifesavers, started with eight donors in March and quickly expanded to 70 by June. Now, its grown to 84 donors.

Patti MacKenzie, mother of new graduate Hayden, is the team lead. She and several other parents came up with the idea of group blood donation as a way to keep the tight-knit group together after the students graduated, while doing something positive for the community.

The groups name, 333 Lifesavers, refers to the main road where most of them live, Route 333 in Prospect. The kids grew up together along this road, and the parents became friends as well. As the young people go their separate ways, theyve vowed to come together and donate blood a few times a year.

On Saturday, June 10, students and parents gathered at Pattis house for a healthy breakfast before the Canadian Blood Services LifeBus transported them to the Halifax donor centre.

More than 50 members of the team filled the donor centre that day, creating a sea of happy faces, many of them first-time donors. The staff worked quickly on that busy day, and the centre buzzed with excitement. Everyone marveled at the maturity and generosity of the students, as well as the success of each donation. As the students completed their donations, they gathered for refreshments, exchanging their experiences and bragging about their bleed times.

Halifaxs three big TV outlets came to report on the mass donation, and a few of the students took turns speaking on camera, talking about their experience and encouraging others to donate blood, while their proud parents looked on.

The 333 Lifesavers team is planning their next group donation this October and hope to keep expanding their membership.