Blood drive organized in honour of Nova Scotia mass shooting victims

A blood drive in honour of the victims of April’s deadly mass shooting in Nova Scotia will take place this week in Milford, just north of Halifax.

Peter MacDonald, Canadian Blood Services’ director of donor relations in the Atlantic region, said the group hopes to collect 72 blood donations on Monday and Tuesday at the Milford Recreation Centre.

“This is certainly a way to honour the victims and do something good for the community, as well,” MacDonald said in an interview.

Twenty-two people were killed in the deadly rampage on April 18-19 across several communities in the province.

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Charlene Bagley’s father, Tom, was among the victims, and she will be donating blood on Monday in his honour.

“If you knew my dad, he probably helped you at some point in your life,” Bagley said in a statement.

“I grew up seeing this all the time when he would drop anything to help out someone in need. I recently discovered that he received a certificate for donating blood 100 times. He was O-negative and donating blood was something he believed was important.”

MacDonald said the two-day event in Milford is tied to a countrywide blood donor drive running through the end of August under the hashtag, #NovaScotiaStrong.

He said that campaign hopes to send the message that something good can come from the Nova Scotia tragedy.

“There is an ongoing need. It’s every minute of every day that someone in Canada receives a blood transfusion. And the opportunity to know that when you donate blood there’s always someone on the other end of your gift,” MacDonald said.

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Physical distancing measures will be in place in Milford to prevent any potential spread of COVID-19, MacDonald added.

Donors will be screened for symptoms before entering the site, and they also need to make appointments to ensure that no more than 50 people are in the building at the same time.

“We have capacity restraints and we follow the latest advice and guidelines from public health,” MacDonald said.

He said anyone who wants to donate blood can make an appointment by calling 1-888-2-DONATE or visiting blood.ca/novascotiastrong.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 17, 2020.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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