Muslim charity holds blood drive in GTA as part of attempt to break world record on donations

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Ali Ridah Fazal, a volunteer, donated blood in Richmond Hill, Ont. on Saturday as part of effort by Who is Hussain, a U.K.-based Muslim charity, to break the world record of the most amount of blood donated in one day. (CBC - image credit)
Ali Ridah Fazal, a volunteer, donated blood in Richmond Hill, Ont. on Saturday as part of effort by Who is Hussain, a U.K.-based Muslim charity, to break the world record of the most amount of blood donated in one day. (CBC - image credit)

A charity based in London, England held a blood drive in the Greater Toronto Area on Saturday that is part of an attempt to break the world record of the most blood donated in one day.

Who is Hussain Toronto, a Muslim non-profit organization, held its GTA blood drive event in Hillcrest Mall in Richmond Hill, Ont. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. According to the organization, its blood drive events are being held in more than 60 countries on Saturday.

Canadian Blood Services, a non-profit organization, collected the donations.

"I feel very proud that I am able to do this," Ali Ridah Fazal, a volunteer, said at the event. "It's very humbling. It feels very good to be part of a small piece of breaking the record."

According to its national blood inventory, Canadian Blood Services says it has four days supply of -B and five days supply of A-, O+ and O- blood products.

In an email, Who is Hussain said: "This is a crucial time for Canada to accept blood donations since it was declared by the Canadian Blood services that there was a critical shortage of blood at the beginning of August."

Its campaign is called #GlobalBloodHeroes. The organization says on its website that it hopes to collect blood from 50,000 people on Saturday.

In a news release on its website, it said: "Just one unit of blood can help to save three lives. The campaign hopes to help fulfil the increasing need for blood donations as countries worldwide are suffering a significant lack of supply."

Canada urgently needs blood, according to Gina Leyva, Canadian Blood Services community development manager. It needs 18,000 donations by the beginning of September to meet patient needs.

Canadian Blood Services said a third of its supplies comes from events hosted by third parties, such as Who is Hussain.

The current world record is 35,000 blood donations in a single day. It was established in India in 2020.