Blood drive taps extended family

Last October, Toronto-based Bensimon Byrne ACD Troy Palmer developed an internal campaign in honour of his one-year-old daughter, Lily, who lives with Spherocytosis - a condition leaving her reliant on regular blood transfusions. The heartfelt campaign has since inspired an industry-wide blood drive set to take place around Family Day weekend this month.

Last October, Toronto-based Bensimon Byrne ACD Troy Palmer developed an internal campaign in honour of his one-year-old daughter, Lily, who lives with Spherocytosis – a condition leaving her reliant on regular blood transfusions. The heartfelt campaign has since inspired an industry-wide blood drive set to take place around Family Day weekend this month.

The initial drive took place at the Canadian Blood Services’ King Street clinic, where 40 Bensimon staffers donated blood, accounting for one of the largest donation days in the site’s history. In the days that followed, Palmer was contacted by folks from agencies and other companies asking how they could get involved. ‘It’s nothing short of amazing,’ says Palmer. ‘I was pretty moved.’

This second drive, spearheaded by Palmer and Roop Sidhu, community development coordinator at Canadian Blood Services, has seen interest from about 20 companies in Toronto, including Taxi, Taxi 2, Grip Limited, BBDO and Vapor Music. Some are looking at running the Bensimon internal campaign featuring Lily within their own agencies.

‘To have it actually be happening as a result of the generosity of the people in this building, and then inspiring others…it’s overwhelming,’ says Palmer.

Canadian Blood Services has begun a cold-calling initiative to drum up support for the drive, which will take place at the King Street clinic from Feb. 17 to 21. The organization will track donations and award a winner in order to elicit as many as possible during the week.