Canadian Blood Services (CBS) in the Waterloo region is sounding the alarm on the urgent need for donors this Thanksgiving weekend.

According to CBS, as of Saturday afternoon, there were over 70 spots waiting to be filled on Thanksgiving Monday, calling it an unusual drop in donors.

"We've never really seen so many appointments available on a long weekend holiday before, at least in recent years,” explained Gina Leyva, community development manager with CBS.

The organization says without the ongoing dedication from donors, patients in Canada “wouldn’t have access to lifesaving care where and when they need it.”

The organization is strongly encouraging all eligible donors in the region to book their appointments to donate blood, platelets, and plasma.

"Give someone something to be thankful about this Thanksgiving,” said Leyva.

As to what’s behind the donor drop, Leyva believes there are a multitude of reasons it’s a difficult time to collect donations.

"I would say mostly COVID related,” she said. “I know for example, Oktoberfest is happening this weekend. So, everybody's busy. I get it, people are really excited to be doing all the things with restrictions being lifted.”

Blood donations

The Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) has launched ‘Operation Impact’ aimed at making sure drivers enjoy responsibly this weekend and follow the rules of the road.

CBS notes that long weekend crashes are another important reason to donate blood, since emergency situations requiring life-saving care can arise at any moment.

"Supply is lower, everybody is out and about,” Leyva said. “Everybody's driving, there's more accidents, there's more reasons why someone would need a blood donation.”

Leyva also notes the expected weekend surge in demand is on top of those people who already need blood donations regularly, such as cancer patients, people who needs immunoglobulins, have rare, life-threatening chronic and genetic conditions or aplastic anemia.

These are the individuals who rely on blood, platelets, and plasma donations every day.


A spokesperson for CBS said often times the blood that gets donated to the KW clinic, does get utilized by members from the local community.

"I'm happy that I've been able to donate, and hopefully my blood can be used to help other people,” said Syen King, a blood donor who tries to come to the clinic every three months with family.

“I have no physical problems afterwards,” she added.

"My father needed a full body blood transfusion at birth, so he's always illustrated the importance of giving blood,” said Brett Mellor, who is also no stranger when it comes to donating blood.

The two individuals also had some advice for those still on the fence about donating.

"It's not as hard you think it is. There's some paperwork, but it's not painful,” King said.

"Everybody here is really good at their job, they make you feel comfortable and it's honestly just very relaxing, it's a relaxing atmosphere,” Mellor stated.

There are also different snacks and beverages available at all blood clinics for those looking for a boost of energy before or after their appointment.

CBS said it would like residents to keep in mind that with the need for donors being constant, a quick donation can leave a lasting impact by saving a life.

You can book your appointment online at, on the GiveBlood app, or by calling 1-888-236-6283.

The Bridgeport clinic in Waterloo is open on Monday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.