A former Surrey resident is offering $800 total in cash to high school students who create the three best videos recruiting blood donors and promoting blood donation.
Christine Trischuk is offering up the sizable sum, which will be divided between the three winners, through the Media Mania Challenge, in order to encourage more people to roll up their sleeves and give blood. And the timing couldn’t be better, said Trischuk, noting a decline in donations due to the flu that has hit the province.
“They’re having some trouble right now with the flu that’s been going around. There have been so many cancellations and it’s really pushing their resources,” Trischuk said. “We’re hoping we can build awareness and get people to donate.”
For the Queen Elizabeth Secondary grad and current Langley resident, giving blood has been a regular occurrence for the past decade.
The decision to take donating seriously was spurred by the cancer diagnosis of her aunt at the age of 46.
Like many cancer patients, her aunt needed platelet donations to aid in her treatment. In order to help, Trischuk began to donate at the Oak Street site in Vancouver, which accepts platelet donations. With the treatment, Trischuk’s aunt lived on for two more years.
“She lived those two years because of the treatment. Everyone knows someone who has been diagnosed with cancer, so it is something that affects us all,” she said.
Following her experience donating, Trischuk was inspired to raise awareness and donations, which eventually resulted in last year’s donation of a bursary to a Surrey high school student, which was awarded on April 15.
This year, rather than focusing on grades when awarding the prize, Trischuk and her co-organizer, Jeffrey O’Brien from Canadian Blood Services, decided to create a contest that would encourage students to tap into their creative side while sharing what donating blood means to them and encouraging others to follow suit.
“With the bursary, we were able to reach one student, but with this video, we will be able to encourage multiple students,” Trischuk explained.
“We’re looking for something that is different.”
And while Trischuk no longer lives in Surrey, she still has as strong connection through her family and friends in the city.
“We decided to pick a student from School District 36 because that’s where I first started donating blood, that’s where my parents live and that’s where I wanted to give back,” she said.
Video submissions should be between 30-45 seconds and should include why the student donates blood and why others should too.
Prizes are awarded as $500 for the first prize, $200 for second place and $100 for third place.
Students have until Jan. 31 to send submissions online to Jeffrey.Obrien@blood.ca or to drop them off at the Guildford Canadian Blood Services location at 104 Avenue and 152 Street.
For more information, visit www.christinetrischuk.com