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Peterborough mayor’s annual blood drive hoping to attract new donors

Mayor Blood Drive aims to recruit new donors
WATCH: Mayor Daryl Bennett and Canadian Blood Services talk about the importance of recruiting new blood donors.

“The call is always out there, the need is always out there.”

Peterborough Mayor Daryl Bennett is hosting a blood drive this week, the ninth he’s fronted over an eight-year period.

The hope is to collect about 32 units of blood each day.

READ MORE: Canadian researchers find a way to turn Type A and B blood into Type O

“Each one of those pints means a big, big deal for someone who is in need of those services,” Bennett said.

But there is something else on the agenda.

“We’re looking for new donors, and there’s a lot of young people who sometimes need a little prod to get them started,” Bennett said.

And it looks like the push for new donors is just as crucial as the push for more blood units.

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“Absolutely, it is required to get brand new donors into the blood system for so many reasons,” explained Eastern Ontario regional manager Debbi Barfoot. “As people get older, they will sometimes they will drop out of the blood system due to medications or extended periods of travel.”

READ MORE: Lack of rural donation sites questioned after urgent call for blood donors

This blood drive follows a plea from Canadian Blood Services, which said it was in desperate need of donations.

“I’m happy to say locally, Peterborough exceeded expectations and we collected 111 per cent of our goal of 304 units during that period,” Barfoot said.

But of course, there’s always going to be a need for donations, and Barfoot says it’s unfortunately something many don’t think about until they or someone they love needs blood.

“Raising awareness in the community does have a tremendous impact on bringing in the numbers. Summer is extremely difficult to collect blood, simply because we’re dealing with hopefully nice weather, and people are out on vacation, at cottages, and it’s a little more difficult to get them in for an hour to donate.”

The Peterborough blood clinic is open Tuesday through Friday.