Blood Red educational guide

The BLOOD RED educational guide: A project made possible thanks to Desjardins

To meet the blood needs of Québec’s 99 hospitals, Héma-Québec must recruit more than 300,000 donors each year. While 97% of people can give blood, only 3% actually do. And yet the gift of blood is crucial to our community. With the ageing of Québec’s population, Héma-Québec is steadily losing donors. Today, 67% of active donors are aged 40 and over.

As part of its long term strategy to maintain an optimal stock level of blood products, Héma-Québec must make sure that a sufficient number of new donors are recruited. Children love to take responsibility and action; they want to change the world! The BLOOD RED educational guide was created with that in mind, and the idea has proven successful.

The BLOOD RED guide is designed for cycle three elementary and cycle one high school students; in other words, it reaches children aged 9 to 13. The program has three main objectives: to raise awareness about the importance of giving blood; to help develop a new generation of engaged and responsible citizens; and to build a new generation of blood donors and leaders in the organization of blood drives.

Since the program launched, more than 402 BLOOD RED educational guides have been distributed. Among the requests received so far, 58% were related to raising awareness and 42% to organizing a blood drive. Between April 1, 2009 and May 31, 2011, 325 blood drives were organized in schools allowing Héma-Québec to recruit 39,310 blood donors.

It’s clear this initiative hit its mark: 18% of donors were aged 30 to 39 – an age group that usually only represents 13% of donors. Students are incredibly convincing when it comes to recruiting parents and friends of parents, a clientele that is usually difficult to reach – between work and family life, there can be little time left to give blood.

The BLOOD RED educational guide was made possible thanks to the generousity of our partner, Desjardins. It includes a teacher’s guide, activity sheets that can be reproduced, a glossary, some stickers and post cards, a themed poster, an origami game and a complementary DVD. The guide is available in English and French. If you are a teacher and are interested in using it with your students, ask for it now!