Three young residents of St. George, each recovering from life-threatening conditions, helped host the town’s first-ever blood donor clinic on Saturday.

The trio lent their stories and encouraged fellow residents to roll up their sleeves.

“I really wanted to give back to the community,” says 18-year-old Erika Crawford. “I know what it means to get blood.”

Crawford, along with eight-year-old Ava Slotegraaf and five-year-old Evan Leversage, all required blood transfusions to beat cancers and a rare tissue disorder.

“Blood donors did save my life,” said Slotegraaf.

The recent stormy weather forced several area blood clinics to temporarily close their doors, straining local supply.

“We’ve been struggling,” said Lisa Syms with Canadian Blood Services. “But we’re really hoping people hear that blood signal and come on out and donate.”

The message was obviously received: The St. George clinic surpassed all donation targets.

That’s why Canadian Blood Services says they hope to organize more clinics in the small town.

“Blood is the one donation that you can give that you can save a life and it’s free,” says Nicole Wellwood, Leversage’s mother.