Pedersens volunteer in several good ways
It takes many volunteers to make the Canadian Blood Services program successful.
In fact, Canadian Blood Services thanked 17,000 volunteers who dedicated 225,000 hours of their time in the last year to help support Canada’s blood system during volunteer week.
Nation-wide, volunteers are getting involved and leading positive change in a variety of ways, all of them vital. They coordinate and host blood donor clinics, greet and assist donors, publicly speak about the need for blood and stem cell donation.
In Camrose, there are many volunteer stories that could be told, but one volunteer in particular stands out as a shining example of how rallying together helps save lives.
Local business man, Paul Pedersen has a long history of donating blood that began in his youth. "As soon as we turned 18, five of us friends on a bowling team gave blood once a week at 7 p.m. before going bowling in the 9 p.m. league," said Paul.
He continued to donate whole blood regularly, and reached at least 110 donations. As business obligations demanded more and more of his time, he chose to continue his support through Pedersen’s Florists. "We (with his wife Carol) continue to donate three floral items to each two-day clinic in Camrose, with the expressed purpose of giving these creations to donors who have taken the time to attend," said Paul. "We leave it up to the Blood Clinic, but we encourage that long time donors and those who have donated for the first time, receive the flowers or floral items. It's our way of volunteering or thanking people for giving blood."
Paul's volunteer commitment has lasted 30 years. “It has always seemed like a good thing to do. Through my involvement in the community, I have been able to witness the end result. Blood donations help save lives.”
That involvement included saving lives and property. Paul was a dedicated volunteer Camrose Fire Department member. "I'm a firm believer in volunteering in the community and both Carol and I still want to help the Canadian Blood Services in any way we can," said Paul. "We also give carnations to the mammogram clinic for ladies who have x-rays. It's our way of saying thank you."
Paul started expressing his gratitude with flowers on a skiing trip to Europe. "Our ski team was in Austria and staying at a hotel. The owner said we were well-behaved Canadians, so we filled a table full of red and white carnations. When we left, we found a case of wine with our belongings. Ever since then, I have used flowers as a gift of gratitude. Flowers have a way of cheering people up and saying thank you."
To find out more about volunteer opportunities at Canadian Blood Services, visit www.blood.ca or call 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283).