As part of a coordinated national effort to mark the second annual Syrian Canadian Donation Day, a group from Sudbury rolled up their sleeves to give blood Monday.

Around 20 members of the Syrian community gathered at the Sudbury Canadian Blood Services office on Barrydowne Road.

The Syrians are calling this gesture a gift to the community.

"In Sudbury, we know that we need donors here in Sudbury and we always lack resources of blood.  That's why we thought that it's important here to contribute to the community, at least to give our blood as a gift to the community from the Syrian community." said Bahaa Habra.

One member of the local Syrian community, Mostafa Alzahran, has been in Sudbury for three years now, and it was his fourth time donating blood.

"As Syrians were expected to do something for the community right, like we have to give something back. So as giving blood, which is like the most precious thing you could give, I think this is a really good move from us Syrians." said Alzahran.

Officials with Canadian Blood Services say one person's donation can help up to three patients in need.

"It's so exciting to have such a great group of individuals and donors, a lot of them new too, come to our centre to help us out and to give blood across Canada." said Jenny Fortin, of Canadian Blood Services Sudbury.

She says the service is always in need of blood, but especially during the holidays.

"Typically we see a decrease in donations before the holidays because people are thinking about travelling, doing family activities, they are not really thinking about rolling up their sleeve." said Fortin.

The territory manager says with the help of Monday’s donations, up to sixty people can be helped.