BRANTFORD -- 56 pints from 56 soldiers.

That was the goal of a life-saving initiative by reserve soldiers who came together to roll up their sleeves and donate blood on Thursday evening.

The soldiers from the 56th Field Artillery Regiment, based in Brantford, St. Catharines, and Simcoe, gathered at the Armoury in Brantford to participate in the effort.

It comes right ahead of a time of year when officials say the need for blood is more urgent.

"This seemed like a perfect time to do this, in advance of that holiday rush”, Capt. Michael Mathieson told CTV News.

"This is a critical time for blood, there's people in dire need ", he added.

Mathieson says it all started as a suggestion from one of their own reservists.

"One of our members had an idea in Simcoe, and she brought some soldiers to donate, and that's what started this whole thing”.

"It seems to go very well hand in hand with the service oriented nature of this job”, Capt. Mathieson said.

He added that the number seemed like a fun way to combine the soldiers’ regimental unit with the need at hand.

"That's what we're aiming for - to get 56 pints of blood donated.  The unit is about 120 strong spread out over 3 locations .. but we're bringing everyone in to the headquarters here in Brantford to try to achieve that”.

No word just yet whether they achieved that goal.