Each day, Héma-Québec volunteer action helps to save lives

Montréal, April 16, 2007 — As part of National Volunteer Week that runs from April 15–21, Héma-Québec would like to remind the public that volunteer action is essential for maintaining Québec’s blood supply. In addition to the 320,000 individuals who voluntarily give blood every year, Héma-Québec relies on the generous contribution of a network of tens of thousands of people, throughout Québec, who support its endeavours by recruiting donors, organizing blood drives or volunteering their services at the blood donor clinics.

To celebrate the commitment and importance of its volunteers for achieving its mission, Héma-Québec has established a recognition program especially for them. The Québec blood supplier pays tribute to the contribution of regular volunteers in the following categories: Young Volunteers, Volunteers, Regional Volunteers and Volunteers of the Association of Blood Donation Volunteers. It recognizes also the contribution of the blood drive organizing committees in the community, corporate, government, medias and provincial sectors, as well as in our academic and cultural communities.

As part of this program, four recognition evenings were organized to celebrate the priceless contributions of a finalist group of volunteers: two in Montréal on March 21 and April 10, 2007, and the other in Québec City on March 14 and April 4, 2007. These finalists were those individuals or organizations who really stood out during the last year. Sixty-three winners from all across Québec were honoured at these four celebrations.

“Québec's blood supply rests essentially on the generosity of volunteers. Every volunteer, whether a blood donor, telerecruiter, drive organizer, or volunteer at the blood drives, helps to save lives or improve the quality of life of recipients. Hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours are dedicated annually to maintaining the collective blood supply. Volunteers deserve all of our thanks for their wonderful sense of sharing,” stated Dr. Francine Décary, Héma-Québec’s Chief Executive Officer.

We should emphasize that Héma-Québec has a constant need for new volunteers to continue its operations and to replace the volunteers who are retiring. No experience is necessary since Héma-Québec provides all of the training required for its team of volunteers. To become a volunteer or to find out more about volunteer work, visit the "Volunteers" section of the Web site at www.hema-quebec.qc.ca or telephone 514-832-5000, extension 162, in the Montréal and Western Québec region, or 418-780-4362, extension 2245, for the Québec City and Eastern Québec region.

Héma-Québec's mission is to efficiently provide adequate quantities of safe, optimal blood components, substitutes, human tissues and cord blood to meet the needs of all Quebecers; provide and develop expertise along with specialized and innovative services and products in the fields of transfusion medicine and human tissue transplantation.

Héma-Québec is 1,300 employees, some 3,000 days of blood drives and more than 300,000 blood donors each year, 16,000 volunteer partners and 400,000 blood products delivered each year to Québec hospitals to meet patients' needs.

Give blood. Give life.