Photo: Clonbinane CFA volunteer Luke Vienet making his 125th blood donation.
Clonbinane CFA volunteer Luke Vienet has been donating blood and plasma since the age of 16 and recently completed his 133rd donation.
Initially donating with his school, Luke has continued the selfless habit to this day.
“You were allowed to donate when you were 16 when I first started. My school offered a program where they would drive the students down to donate in small groups in a minibus,” he said.
“It was really encouraged by the school and I just thought it was a good thing to do.”
Since then, Luke has donated whenever – and wherever – he can.
“Whenever it’s been convenient since then I try and do it.”
“My 125th donation was in Launceston when I was visiting family so I booked into the local centre and allocated a part of my morning to go down and donate. It doesn’t take a long time so I could easily fit it in.”
Also volunteering with CFA since the age of 16, Luke sees the two as going hand-in-hand.
“I see both donating blood and volunteering with CFA as giving back with no expectation – and providing a service firsthand. When I’m with CFA, I’m protecting lives and properties directly.
“As well as that, when donating blood I know that my donation is going directly to the people who need it, which is really important to me.”
Luke said he was initially inspired to join CFA because his father volunteered.
“I was never a part of a sporting club or anything like that, and I wanted to do something that would give back to the community rather than just play a game each week. I see it as making a big contribution, serving a massive purpose.”
Encouraging others to get involved and donate blood, Luke said the quick and easy process is incredibly rewarding.
“It’s vital to get involved, many people depend on it, and you never know - you might need it yourself one day,” he said.
“It’s a really rewarding feeling, it’s a great thing to do. At the end of the day, I think ‘what have I achieved today?’ and if it’s a blood donation and saving those lives, then that’s a great feeling.”
The Red Cross Emergency Services Blood Drive runs from 1 June – 31 August. You can find out more at www.lifeblood.com.au.