Victoria’s Parachute Ice Cream helps sweeten blood donations

Victoria's Parachute Ice Cream helps sweeten blood donations
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WatchAt some time in their lives, half of all Canadians will either need blood, or know someone else who needs it. And in Victoria, until January 31, you can donate this life-saving gift and receive a very sweet treat of thanks.

Until January 31, you have a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a delicious Parachute Ice Cream cone when you donate blood at the Victoria location of Canadian Blood Services.

It’s a promotional idea that was hatched by Kevin Fung, co-owner of Parachute Ice Cream, after a good friend of his was re-telling her story of the birth of her son Mateo.

“Mateo was born in February 2016,” says mom Maya Miguel.

“And about three hours after a regular birth, my caregiver/midwife realized that I had a hemorrhage – a post-partum hemorrhage – and I was losing quite a bit of blood.   My doctor said, ‘you know, it’s going to take you about three months to re-generate this amount of blood volume loss.’ So they gave me the choice of accepting donated blood to recuperate my blood volume, so that I could have energy to take care of my newborn, and give me a fighting chance of being able to breastfeed.”

Maya gratefully accepted that donation, and now, nearly four years later, Maya and Mateo arrived at Canadian Blood Services to say thank you, along with Kevin Fung.

“Maya was re-telling the [birth] story, and I thought to myself, ‘if there’s anything we can do, we should try to do something,'” Kevin says.

“There’s not a lot of blood on hand,” says Kevin.  “I thought, personally, there would be like months and months of supply, but it’s actually days, which I was surprised about.”

Because Kevin co-owns an ice cream parlour, he saw a unique way to give back.  Until January 31, blood donors are invited to pick up a voucher at Parachute Ice Cream at 106 – 2626 Bridge Street in Victoria, and present that voucher at Canadian Blood Services.  It will be stamped after their donation, and they can return to Parachute for a free ice cream cone until February 15.

Verna Chow from Canadian Blood Services is delighted that Kevin took the initiative to undertake this unique incentive.

“Across Canada, we need 100,000 new donors this year. Canadian Blood Services has to replace anybody who cannot donate anymore, and in Victoria, in particular, we need new donors.”

Verna explains that there is a certain irony to the reason Victoria, in particular, needs more donors.

“Victoria is an amazing community,” says Verna.  “Victoria actually has the highest frequency of donors.  They donate the most amount of times, per year, than anybody else in B.C..”

But, if one of those regular donors can no longer donate, they need to replace that regular donation.

“We especially need O-negative blood, ‘the universal donor’, the people who are able to give, and to give to anybody,” says Verna.

“Once they’ve done it once, they tend to talk about it.  And that’s actually our message.  Talk about it, let people know to come and do it with you, hold their hand when they’re doing that first time donation.  It goes a long way to help people” says Verna.

And a free ice cream certainly sweetens the donation.

 

Veronica CooperVeronica Cooper

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