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Halifax Thunderbirds launch coast-to-coast giving challenge for Canadian Blood Services

The Halifax Thunderbirds and San Diego Seals have teamed up with Canadian Blood Services for a friendly competition to see which team can recruit the most blood donors.

The challenge is being hosted at the Canadian Blood Services Donor Centre on Bayers Road and runs for two weeks, from April 18 to May 1.

“Not that giving blood should be a competition, but it’s a good venture for both parties to see who has the better community, let’s say, in an effort to give back as best as we can,” said Kyle Jackson, a forward on the Halifax Thunderbirds.

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The Halifax Thunderbirds and the San Diego Seals are both teams in the National Lacrosse League. Back in February, the league announced it would be cancelling its abbreviated spring season and focusing their attention on 2021-22.

Jackson says even though San Diego is a big city, Halifax and Halifax Thunderbirds fans have “better people with bigger hearts.”

“You just have to make an appointment with Canadian Blood Service as yourself and come in, show up, give your blood and that’s pretty much it,” Jackson said.

Kathy Gracie, territory manager for Canadian Blood Services Halifax, says when the Thunderbirds reached out looking for ways to help, the organization was happy to oblige.

“The Thunderbirds have such a great fanbase here and the fans really support them here so we thought what better way to get the fans involved and actually give back to the community by donating blood,” Gracie said.

Click to play video: Halifax family calls for holiday blood donors after losing loved one to blood cancer on Christmas

Gracie said one of the biggest benefits of these types of blood drives is to highlight the need for blood.

“It’s normally not something at the top of your mind until something like a big blood drive happens,” Gracie continued. “It reminds you that it’s a good thing to do.”

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Gracie and Jackson said that even if you’re not comfortable with giving blood, there are still plenty of ways that you can help.

“I know a lot of our staff doesn’t like needles, so you can find different ways, especially with cash donations, volunteer hours, to help contribute,” Jackson said.

“Anything really helps.”

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