Partners for Life
Christopher Hitchens famously said “I challenge you to find one good or noble thing which cannot be accomplished without religion. It is impossible. You cannot do it.”
Hitchens was responding to the frequent claim by theists that religion is a force for good in the world because believers do good deeds in the name of their religion. Humanists step up to that challenge and do good deeds (like donating blood) without needing religion as a rationale.
The Canadian Blood Services’ (CBS) Partners for Life program provides an opportunity for organizations (primarily businesses, schools, service clubs, and churches) to show that they care about their fellow human beings by giving blood. All that’s necessary is for a group to register and then encourage its members to donate. There are no prizes involved – it’s just a friendly competition. Patients benefit because they get the blood they need, and the participating organizations benefit from the positive publicity (bragging rights) and the pride of doing a good turn.
In order to have your donation credited towards HAAM’s pledge of 25 donations per year, you must first register for the Partners for Life program via the CBS website. This is a one-time only registration; after that, your future donations will automatically be electronically tracked and credited to HAAM.
- Click here get to the Partners for Life registration page. Follow the instructions to register using the Partner ID#: HUMA008484
- After registering, you should get a confirmation email. If you have difficulty completing the online registration, please contact us.
If you haven’t donated before, here are some tips from regular donors:
– Check the CBS website for information on who is eligible to donate.
– Calling the toll free number (1 888 2DONATE) is very easy; the staff are very happy to get anyone set up with an appointment. You can also walk in at pretty much any mobile clinic or at the main clinic (777 William Ave). They won’t turn walk-ins away, and it’s usually pretty fast! For first time donors, one of these options is recommended; it’s nice to be able to talk to a real person about the process. William Ave is also open some evenings and has a free parking lot, so no costly HSC parking rates! However, if you’ve recently had a tattoo or piercing, been to the dentist, or traveled out of country, you might want to call ahead of time to make sure you’ll be eligible to give. It’s frustrating to make the time to go there only to find out they can’t accept your donation that day.
– The entire visit takes about an hour from start to finish, as you need to have your iron level tested, fill out a questionnaire, and have a short interview before the actual donation. You also get a few perks like a juice/pop/coffee and a snack! Who doesn’t like free Oreos? It’s a good excuse to have a treat.
– The William Ave clinic does also have a small children’s “play area”, not much more than most doctor or dentist offices but you can bring the kids if they’ll stay relatively put and not freak out when they see a parent with a needle!
– CBS has a mobile app – you create your account on their website, and then use the log in and password with the app. On the app, you can take a quick “basic eligibility” quiz and check your total donations, blood type, next appointments, upcoming clinics, etc. It’s quite easy to use.
Donate Your Organs, Too!
(not yet, of course…)
Donor Registry is Now Online
Organ and tissue donation in Manitoba have gone high-tech. Paper ‘organ donor’ wallet cards are now obsolete, because they are not recorded in any database and may not be available when needed. Instead, Manitoba Health now recommends that you register your wishes online to ensure that they will be known if and when you ever qualify to donate. (People without computer access can call the Sign Up for Life office at 204-787-1897 and have a staff member enter their information manually.)
Register your consent to donate at Sign Up for Life.ca. Your information will be recorded and stored in the secure Manitoba eHealth database. In the event of your death or imminent death, your decision will be shared with your family so that they can honour your wishes. Donation will not take place without your family’s consent.
How does it work?
You can register if you are 18 years of age or older and have a valid Manitoba Health Card.
You can donate organs and tissues (heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, small bowel, stomach, corneas, heart valves, pericardium, bone, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and skin) for transplant. You can also indicate whether or not you would want your organs or tissues to be used for medical education or scientific research purposes.
Everyone can register to be a donor regardless of age, medical condition or sexual orientation. Your decision to register should not be based on whether YOU think you would be eligible or not. Eligibility is determined by the health care team after a patient’s death.