Extend your arm and donate blood! Volunteers from both home and abroad gathered to celebrate Saturday, May 20, by donating blood to help sick children.
520, short for May 20, has become a popular day in China for people to express their love. It's in part because it sounds similar to the Chinese phrase "wo ai ni," which means "I love you".
This time, blood donors gave the "gift of life" to show their love and care for children with cancer and blood diseases, during the event organized and supported by multiple entities including Shanghai Blood Center, Bloodline, an NGO, the Children's Hospital of Fudan University, and City News Service.
The event "Keep Dreams Alive", a blood donation drive for children, is calling for more residents to donate blood to help child patients.
Ashish Maskay, a surgeon from Nepal and founder of Bloodline, said all the donors expressed their biggest love during "520".
"I always want to encourage more people to donate blood, because blood is so important, especially for these sick children," he said.
"When I see them, I always tell myself that what I have done is far from enough. We will try our best to call for more donors."
He invited Wu Chun, a Bruneian actor and singer, to become a Bloodline ambassador and donate blood.
Wu said he agreed immediately.
"Donating blood is a very meaningful thing and I hope more people can join us," said Wu, who donated 400 milliliters of blood on Saturday.
Blood is an important and precious medical resource for saving patients' lives. Shanghai needs 1,500 units, or 300 liters of blood, each day to meet clinical demand. And this all comes from voluntary donations from healthy people, said the Shanghai Blood Center.
Nathan Fry, from England, said it is his third blood donation in Shanghai, and he is glad to give donations regularly.
Anita Consonni, from Italy, not only donated blood but also served as a volunteer for Bloodline on Saturday.
"I have been in China for nine years and I am happy to help other people by donating blood here," she said.
Astrid Poghosyan, a Armenian violinist with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, played violin for donors to express her support. She had donated blood in the past month and was unable to give a donation this time.
In China, the interval for whole blood donation is at least six months.
"Though I can't give donation today, I want to express my support and care," she said.