Students Saving Lives
Earn Community Service Hours Towards Graduation
Community Involvement Activities for Grade 9-12 Students across Canada
Knowing about Canada’s Stem Cell Registry is the right of every citizen.
This well-established community service initiative aims to educate you about the power of joining Canada’s Stem Cell Registry with Canadian Blood Services. Learn about stem cell donation through online activities and earn community service/involvement hours towards graduation. Earn up to 40 hours by hosting recruitment events for the National Registry. Students 17 and older may join the registry for free, by mail.
Thousands of Canadian students have participated in Students Saving Lives since it began by an Ottawa student in 2021. People of diverse ethnicities are greatly needed to help those waiting. Canadian students have the ability to transform this landscape for future generations.
Enhance your civil awareness before graduation. Start earning hours today. Add Hero to your resume.
Students Saving Lives
How to participate
This opportunity is for Grade 9-12 secondary school students across Canada who are required to earn community service hours towards their graduation diploma. Earn up to 40 community service/involvement hours by completing some or all of the recommended activities. Record your completed hours on the Community Service form provided by your school. Parents/guardians have the authority to approve the completed hours with their signature in coordination with the procedures outlined by individual school Guidance Departments.
- Activities 1-8: Stem Cell Education (5 hours)
- Activities 9-10: Stem Cell Registration (5 hours) (must be at least 17 years of age)
- Activities 11-12: Stem Cell Recruitment (up to 40 hours)
This pan-Canadian initiative conforms to community involvement standards for Ministries of Education across Canada including Ontario’s PPM 124a. Quebec students are excluded since this province operates under Hema-Quebec. See also: Catholic Support for Ethically Acceptable Stem Cell Research.
Students Saving Lives: Stem Cell Education
Complete Activities 1-8 for five hours of “Stem Cell Education”
Complete some or all of the activities listed below for up to five (5) hours of community service. Record the hours on your school’s record form and label it Stem Cell Education. Ask a parent/guardian to verify your participation with their signature.
Reflect on what you’ve learned. Speak with family or friends. Do some of your own research. Consider what impact you could have if you decided to join the registry.
Students Saving Lives: Stem Cell Registration
Complete Activities 9-10 for five hours of “Stem Cell Registration”
Complete Activities 9 and 10 for a total of five (5) hours of community service. Record the hours on your school’s record form and label it Stem Cell Registration. Ask a parent/guardian to verify your participation with their signature. Please note that only students aged 17 years old and older are permitted to complete Activities 9 and 10 outlined below. Students who complete their registration will receive certificate for framing from Canadian Blood Services.
If you are 17 years old or older, register to become a potential stem cell donor. Visit blood.ca/StudentsSavingLives and take the eligibility questionnaire before registering for a kit to be sent to you home.
After registering, a swab kit will be mailed to your home within 2-3 weeks. Swab the inside of your cheeks and return the envelope via mail. All postage is paid. Simply my joining, you’ve given hope to someone waiting.
Students Saving Lives: Stem Cell Recruitment
Complete Activities 11-12 for up to 40 hours of “Stem Cell Recruitment”
Complete Activities 11 and/or for up to 40 hours of community service. Record the hours on your school’s record form and label it Stem Cell Recruitment Ask a parent/guardian to verify your participation with their signature. These two activities require direct contact with Canadian Blood Services staff in order to coordinate recruitment activities.
Host a one-hour #GetSwabbed event in your school community with custom kits from Canadian Blood Services (CBS). Share your event on social media. Set up a table and answer important questions. Hold a themed event or focus on the need for ethnically-diverse donors to save even more lives! Technically trained volunteers through CBS are available to help you host and answer questions. One teacher representative and two students required. Earn up to 10 hours of community service by completing the recruitment booth set up checklist and carrying out your event. Email Chris.VanDoorn@blood.ca to get started.
Invite 10 or more heroes join the Stem Cell Registry over the summer (between June 24 and September 7, 2024) and enter to win up to $6,500 toward your 2024-2025 post-secondary tuition! Open to Grade 12 students across Canada, excluding Quebec. No purchase or donation required. Students who participate in recruiting blood and plasma donors are also eligible to participate in this scholarship opportunity. Earn up to 40 hours of community service. Register to participate.
Thank you for your community involvement and for now being aware of the impacts of a robust national stem cell registry!
Students Saving Lives
Letter to the Community
Dear Secondary Schools across Canada –
A unique Community Service Opportunity is currently available to all public, Catholic, and private Grade 9 to 12 students across Canada. This opportunity enables students to complete community service hours to be counted towards graduation while also possibly saving a life. This activity conforms to the guiding principles outlined by Canadian education ministries and can be completed from the safety of home.
Canadian Blood Services (CBS) is a well-established school-community sponsor who has historically involved high school students in various pre-approved activities, such as blood donation. Due to tremendous need, CBS is offering activities related to joining the Canadian Stem Cell Registry.
Globally, stem cell registries are predominantly Caucasian (70%). People of diverse ethnicities are greatly needed to increase the chances for those waiting. Canadian students have the ability to transform this landscape for future generations.
Thousands of Canadian students have already participated and accumulated hours through this initiative which began in 2021, and hundreds have actually joined the registry. It is our hope that Students Saving Lives can become an annual rite of passage for young Canadians who are willing and able to participate.
There are currently 1,000 Canadians waiting for a match. My daughter, Hillary, is one of them. One of your students may choose to offer the life-saving gift she requires. I am a well-respected member of my Ottawa community with a United Way Community Builder’s Award and Mayor’s Citation, an OCSB Director of Education’s Commendation Award, and an international following. I am privileged and honoured to have the opportunity to connect student volunteers with a meaningful way to be of service to their community, through this worthy initiative.
Your feedback is most welcome and greatly appreciated as we strive to improve the ways in which this heroic opportunity is offered to those eligible in Canada. Because everyone deserves an equal chance.
Yours in community service,
KMcKibbin@startwithhillary.ca | 613-818-7484
In approved partnership with Canadian Blood Services
Chris.VanDoorn@blood.ca | www.blood.ca/StudentsSavingLives
“I learned about Students Saving Lives through a volunteer opportunity and the information I learned was incredibly interesting and valuable. I look forward to being old enough to register to be a stem cell donor and I believe it’s an incredibly important cause. I would encourage any young people to get more information on stem cells through Canadian Blood Services and to spread awareness!”
Questions or comments
Students Saving Lives
In the Media
These resources support the credibility of the Students Saving Lives program and the support it has received across Canada. Please refer to these tools to enhance your understanding of the need to strengthen and diversify Canada’s Stem Cell Registry.
- Students Saving Lives: The Next Generation of Stem Cells
Print News by MediaPlanet Canada, Health Insights, featured in MacLeans Magazine (October 2023)
- Students Saving Lives: 580 CFRA News Talk Radio
Radio Interview by Host Andrew Pinsent (2022)
- Diversifying the Stem Cell Registry with Hillary McKibbin
Opening Podcast for The Focal Point series by Host Chris Vallee (February 2022)
- Students Saving Lives: Ottawa Now
Radio Interview on 580 CFRA by Host Patricia Boal (December 28, 2021)
- StartWithHillary Interview: AMI Accessible Media Inc.
Digital Video Series AMI This Week by Chris Vallee (November 2021)
- Students Saving Lives: National Live Update
Television Interview by Host Leslie Roberts, CTV News (August 16, 2021)
- Ottawa girl with rare disorder encouraging Ontario students to become stem cell donors
Digital Media by Ted Raymond, CTV News (May 2021)
- Hundreds of Patients Like Hillary Need a Stem Cell Donor
Print News by MediaPlanet Canada, Health Insights, featured in MacLeans Magazine (October 2019)
- Elmoazzen: Stem cell and cord blood donations can save countless lives
Print Column by The Ottawa Citizen/Postmedia, Dr. Heidi Elmoazzen (August 2, 2019)
- ‘This is why we can’t stop:’ Family of girl with rare blood disease driving bone marrow registry
Print News with Video by Ashley Fraser, The Ottawa Citizen/Postmedia’s Joanne Laucius (July 19, 2019)
- Would-be bone marrow donors line up to get swabbed to help Ottawa girl
Video by Ottawa Citizen/Postmedia’s Jean Levac (June 26, 2019)
- Help Hillary Save Lives, Including Her Own
YouTube Viral Video trending on X/Twitter causing record-breaking event turnout (May 2019)
- One Step at a Time: Reflections on a Battle with Leukemia
Published Book featuring Hillary McKibbin, Authors Brian Fraser and Callum Fraser (2022)
- Education without walls: Some Ottawa families have chosen virtual schools — here’s why
Print News in The Ottawa Citizen/Postmedia by Joanne Laucius (September 2022)
- Hillary McKibbin In Remission, Rings CHEO Celebration Bell
Community Print News in Manotick Messenger by Charlie Senack (August 19, 2022)
- Pandemic coverage with Hillary McKibbin
Radio Interview on 1310 News with Host Sam Laprade (March 20, 2020)
- Hillary on An Hour To Give
Radio Interview on CFRE with Sam Laprade (December 23, 2019)
- Part 1 and Part 2 KISS FM 105.3 Radio Interview with Amy Volume (September 2019)
- Hillary’s Wish Trailer / Make-A-Wish & Alexandria Camping Centre
Video Feature by Make-A-Wish Canada
- Urgent appeal to find stem cell match (CTV News, June 20, 2019)
- Ottawa girl, 5, with rare blood disease urgently searching for stem cell match (The Loop, June 20, 2019)
- Family of five year old Ottawa girl with fatal disease searching for a bone marrow donor (CFRA Radio, June 20, 2019)
- Family of Ottawa girl with rare blood disease searching for bone marrow match (The Ottawa Citizen/Postmedia, June 24, 2019)
- Hundreds join stem cell registry for Ottawa girl looking for donor (Ottawa Matters, June 24, 2019)
- Can you help Ottawa’s Hillary McKibbin for her 6th birthday? (JUMP 106.9 Radio, June 25, 2019)
- Bone marrow registry to hold second clinic for Hillary after first runs out of cheek swabs (The Ottawa Citizen, Chronicle Herald, Western Star/Postmedia, June 25, 2019)
- Second call to join stem cell registry to help Ottawa girl (Ottawa Matters, June 26, 2019)
- Second, bigger swabbing clinic to be held for Hillary McKibbin July 4 (CTV News, June 26, 2019)
- 630 would-be bone marrow donors line up to get swabbed to help Ottawa girl, and thousands more (Print/Video: The Ottawa Citizen/Postmedia June 26, 2019)
- Second bone marrow testing clinic set up today in Riverside South (Ottawa Matters, July 4, 2019)
- Second Swabbing Clinic Today For Hillary McKibbin (Jewel 98.5 Radio, July 4, 2019)
- City residents once again turn out to show support for Ottawa girl in need of transplant (Ottawa Matters, July 5, 2019)
- Fighting for Hillary (1310 Radio with Mark Sutcliffe, May 2019)