Every minute of every day a person in Canada is in need of blood. From accidents, to surgery, to cancer treatment, blood is vital in saving lives.
When Michael Campbell read about statistics like this while waiting for his daughter to give blood at a clinic almost five years ago, he was moved. So moved, that he created the Annual Marconi Campus Survivor Blood Donor Challenge.
“I started the survivor campaign so that our students would participate and more people in need of blood would survive,” says Michael, who teaches technical communication, communication, and Quality Yellowbelt 3000 at Marconi. “The campaign serves many purposes – students learn about the importance of service learning in the community, it enhances campus life and team building within programs and helps Canadians in need.”
Since 2009, staff and students at the campus partner annually with Canadian Blood Services to put on the blood donation campaign. At the end of the campaign, the class or classes with the highest participation rates are awarded a trophy crafted by Metal Fabrication students.
This year, 242 students, faculty and staff registered to make a donation with 160 units collected over the three-day, 20-hour drive. Since it began, over 621 units of blood have been collected. To put that into perspective, it takes an average of eight units of blood a week for Leukemia treatments and an average of 50 units for a car accident victim.
Mike Long, a student in the Electronic Engineering Technician program says that when his instructor, Michael Campbell, approached his class to participate, he thought it was a great idea.
Mike knows the value of these donations. His little sister had Leukemia at age eight – an emotional connection that helped him decide to donate. This year, he found out he has even more reason to continue giving. “It turns out I have A-negative blood, which is quite rare. I donate blood once every two months, in addition to the Survivor Campaign.”
The connection to community is a key reason both Michael and Mike are involved with this initiative.
“I work on this project because it gives students a true sense of giving something back and what building communities is all about,” says Michael. “Every participant takes time out of their day to give blood so that others will survive.”
“I didn’t expect to get this sense of community and to learn about giving back as part of my studies at NSCC,” says Mike. “But Michael has done more than just teach us a trade and I plan to continue being involved in my community after I graduate.”
The 2012-2013 winners of the Fourth Annual Marconi Campus Survivor Blood Donor Challenge were the Industrial Mechanical and Occupational Health and Safety programs with 100 per cent participation of faculty and students.
It was a real community effort to make the event a success. Renowned musician Matt Minglewood kicked things off with a concert in the cafeteria and many local businesses, along with the Cape Breton Building trades unions, donated gifts and promotional items for prize draws. The Marconi Campus Culinary Arts Program provided snacks and treats for blood donors after their donation, while Graphic Design student Christina Greene created custom-designed T-shirts for the participants.