Wendy Clarke, Sylvia Anderson, and Grace Van Kuyk are among the blood donor volunteers who help make giving blood more bearable. (Alison Linden/Langley Advance)

IN YOU TO GIVE: Friendly volunteers give Langley blood donors a reason to return

Donor clinic on tonight until 8 p.m. at Church in the Valley, off Fraser Highway in Langley.

by Alison Linden & Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance

She was recognized as one of Langley’s volunteers of the year, and part of those accolades were earned for her work with the Canadian Blood Services.

Sylvia Anderson is one of the CBS volunteers helping host blood donor clinics in Langley, including the one happening today until 8 p.m. at the Church in the Valley.

During volunteer month, the 81-year-old Langley City resident was acknowledged for many years of volunteering in Langley, including her duties with the Christmas bureau, field naturalists, Special Olympics, heritage preservation, Relay for Life, the new Langley Volunteer Bureau. But it was her lengthy tenure as a volunteer with the Canadian Blood Services that earned her the prestigious Order of the Red Cross Canada.

While the CSB staff are working on the front end of the clinic with each donor who checks in for their scheduled appointment or walks through the door to donate, it’s the in-clinic volunteers such as Anderson, Wendy Clarke, and Grace Van Kuyk, who are vitally important to supporting Canada’s blood system, especially during the donation process, said CSB’s Arleen Asi.

Once the blood-giving process is complete, volunteers like herself greet the donors with a smile, assists them to the recovery area, and share a bit of conversation while the donors rehydrate with a juice beverage and snack, Anderson explained.

It’s the warmth of these volunteers, their smiles, and the fact they take an interest in helping donors feel welcome and comfortable during their experience, that make them invaluable Asi said.

Volunteers play a critical role in the success of future blood donor clinics.

A volunteers face is usually the last face the donor sees, therefore the care and attention they receive from this team is one of the main reasons that donors return, Asi elaborated.

In addition to the clinic running until 8 p.m. tonight at the Church, in the Valley, 23589 Old Yale Rd., there is also a clinic at Walnut Grove Lutheran Church on May 12, another at Blacklock Fine Arts Elementary on May 27, and one on the books at Aldergrove Kinsmen Community Centre at the end of June.

For more information, people can visit blood.ca.

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The Church in the Valley is once again the site of a blood donor clinic today (Tuesday, May 1) until 8 p.m. (Alison Linden/Langley Advance)

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