An hour of people's time can help a cancer patient or someone in a car accident fighting for life, making it a worthwhile investment, according to Canadian Blood Services. 

Brett Lawrence is the Community Development Manager with Canadian Blood Services in Winnipeg, located at 777 William Ave. 

"We need more people to come out and donate blood," says Lawrence. "The amount of people that donate blood just isn't enough considering how many people are eligible. About one in two people in Canada are eligible to donate blood and about one in 81 actually do."

Their main location is open for donations six days a week, offers free parking, and people who want to book an appointment can call or simply go online

First Time Fears

"I completely understand the trepidation," Lawrence says about first time donors. "People who haven't donated before think of a very clinical environment with classic overhead lighting that you see in some hospital rooms. But 777 William Avenue is a very welcoming place and the staff are very friendly."

Lawrence says that food is a big part of the experience, with people offered free food when they walk in. 

"You can expect to spend about an hour with us and the needle is only in your arm for about 10 to 15 minutes. We have a word scrammble on the white board that's fun to pay attention to. We have TVs, you can go on your phone, read a book, or talk with someone that you brought with you to donate blood as well."

The team at Blood Services highly recommends that people bring a friend with them each time. It can help alleviate fears and it's instantly double the donations. 

No Substitution for Blood

Up to 50 people need to donate blood when just one person gets into a car accident, depending on the severity of the trauma. Leukemia patients can use up to eight units of blood a week for their treatments. 

"Brain surgery, heart surgery, and many types of cancer need blood. A lot of people might not know that blood donation has directly or indirectly affected their lives. If you know someone that has undergone cancer treatment, there's a good chance they received a few units of blood."

The fact is, when people are in need of blood to survive, the only thing that will can help is donated blood.