Cookie lady brings smiles to Kincardine's blood donors

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In Kincardine, the strategy is simple: come to give blood, but stay for the cookies.

For the last six years Lena Clelland has been making cookies for Kincardine’s blood donor clinic. Six times a year, she spends days preparing to help the community’s blood donors with a tasty treat.

“Even if just one person says they are good that’s worth the whole thing,” says Clelland.

Clelland estimates she bakes at least 100 dozen cookies for each clinic, held two months after the previous. She has always been a supporter of Canadian Blood Services, but since she has been unable to donate blood, donating her time is the next best thing.

Lena Clelland holds a plate of her famous cookies at last Wednesday's blood donor clinic. (Kiel Edge photo)

The dozen different kinds of cookies she bakes await each donor at the recovery station following their donation. The cookies and tarts have become a staple of the donating experience.

“I hear a lot of people say they are really good,” she says.

Word-of-mouth has helped bring more donors to Kincardine’s already busy clinic as her cookie legacy spreads. Many of her biggest fans are the repeat donors that have been coming for years. However, Clelland says there are always new faces.

Recently, more young people have begun filtering into the blood donor clinic. Clelland says that is an encouraging sign, as blood donation is something that needs to continue well into the future.

Although spending two days baking could be a challenge for some, Clelland says she looks forward to each clinic and seeing the friends she has made along the way.

“I’ve made some really great friends,” she says. “Even (strangers) will say hi to me on the street. I don’t know their names but recognize the face. That’s kind of cool.”

Kincardine’s next scheduled clinic is in March at the Davidson Centre. Clelland plans to be there with her creations and says she has no plans to stop baking in the near future.

“I enjoy it; it’s great fun,” she says. “It’s always good (to meet new people).”