Students Saving Lives: Diversifying the National Stem Cell Registry 

Community Service Hours for Canadian High School Students

Dear Secondary School Communities 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 during evolving pandemic restrictions.

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. CBS is actively enhancing this experience with a dedicated logo and website, additional resources, and a streamlined online application process geared towards both secondary and post-secondary institutions for 2022. 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 800 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 Mayor’s Citation, a 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.

Thank you.

Yours in community service,

Kelly McKibbin
StartWithHillary.ca/Students-Saving-Lives
kmckibbin@startwithhillary.ca | 613-818-7484
In 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!”

Amy M.

Ontario Secondary School Student

Guest speakers

Guest speakers for online classroom engagement purposes are available upon request through Canadian Blood Services by email to Chris.VanDoorn@blood.ca.

For those who participated in this initiative during 2021, CBS wants to hear from you! If your school, your Board, or any of your students wish to be featured on the new Students Saving Lives website, let us know! All testimonials are most welcome.

Questions or comments

Students Saving Lives
Community Involvement Activities 

 

Did you know that you have the power to be a real living hero?

Canadian Blood Services is looking for young adults ages 17-35 to join the Canadian Stem Cell Registry. When you join, you give hope to the 800 people in Canada waiting for their match to survive a life-threatening illness. Please consider the following community service activities to enhance your civil awareness as you prepare for graduation. 

Complete Activities 1-8 for five hours of
“Stem Cell Education”

Record the activities/hours on your school’s Community Involvement Record.
Parents/guardians may approve participation for submission to Guidance Departments.

 

Complete Activities 9-10 for five hours of
“Stem Cell Registration”

Please note only students aged 17+ are permitted to complete Activities outlined below.

  • Activity 9: Register to become a potential stem cell donor. Visit blood.ca/StudentsSavingLives
  • Activity 10: 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.

 

Thank you for now being aware of the impacts of a robust national stem cell registry!

How to participate

Complete one or all of the activities and record the suggested hours. Parents/guardians have been given authority until June 2022 during pandemic restrictions to approve completed hours in coordination with the procedures outlined by individual school Guidance Departments. Canadian Blood Services is not required to confirm individual student participation.

The Students Saving Lives activity conforms to the guiding principles outlined in the Ontario Ministry of Education’s PPM 124a, and can be completed from the safety of home, during evolving pandemic restrictions. The Ministry has reduced the number of hours required to graduate with an OSSD from 40 to 20 for the years 2020-2022. Schools may choose to enhance the activities with additional exercises or increase the number of hours. See also: Catholic Church gives it’s blessing for stem cell research in new book.

 

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