Donor coaches hit the road sporting new look, features

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s donor coach fleet is important for a variety of reasons. It enables blood to be collected at mobile drives, provides a comfortable environment for donors to give, attracts new donors and connects the organization with the community by showing the faces of real donors and recipients on the vehicles – all of which are important reasons to keep them up-to-date.

Coach Collage 2 Reduced Coach Final

In the last two years, five coaches have been refurbished. The refurbishment process takes two months, and is headed by the organization's Vehicle Maintenance team.

The process requires collaboration between multiple departments, and a lot of coordinating with outside vendors. Although it can be strenuous, it is important to ensure that the fleet is improving along with the organization. If you ever wondered what exactly goes into the refurbishment process, the steps are as follows.

Step 1: Vehicle Maintenance coordinates a schedule with the vendors who will be responsible for various aspects of the refurbishment process.

Step 2: Vehicle Maintenance coordinates with the Marketing Department for the new graphics, which feature the faces and stories of individuals from the current year’s marketing campaign. The Management Information Systems and Mobile Services departments remove all equipment from the coach – computers, terminals, TVs, etc.

Step 3: The coach is sent off to the selected millwork vendor, the first of four in the process. The millwork vendor removes all cabinets from the coach and replaces them with new ones.

Step 4: The coach is then sent to the second vendor in the process – flooring. This vendor removes the old flooring and replaces it with new flooring and sheet metal.

Step 5: Next, the coach is sent to the body shop. The body shop will paint the inside, repair any damage done to the inside and outside of the coach, including the front and rear steps and everything cosmetic.

Step 6: The coach is sent to the graphic shop – the final vendor in the process. The graphic shop wraps the coach in the new graphics that were provided by the Marketing Department.

Step 7: The coach is returned to The Blood Center where Vehicle Maintenance does a complete inspection of the coach. They check the lighting, A/C units, install small amenities, decals, etc.

Step 8:  Mobile Services reinstalls the collection supplies, and MIS reinstalls all the terminals and cables to ensure that all electronics are functioning properly.

Once the process is completed, you get new and improved model that has become a lifesaving staple in the community.

Coach #25, pictured here, is the latest coach to undergo improvements, and we think it looks great. Check out the photos and information about our recipients Jacob and Kisa, and donor/volunteer Ron, inspiring people as they pass on the highway!

Blood Center News
Every day, someone’s life is being saved.

By Tammie Riley 

I learned something the other day. Every day, someone’s life is being saved. I know that seems obvious, but let that sink in. What may be a normal Thursday for most could be something completely different for someone else. And that’s exactly what happened to donor Gary Gilson. Aug. 16 was one of the most important moments in Gary’s life. Not only did he save lives that day, but someone else saved the life of his loved one, as well.

Hospital tour highlights need

A 3-year-old girl lies in a hospital bed in the middle of the room with monitors attached to her bare chest. She’s awake, but she doesn’t lift her head as we walk into the room. Still, she follows us with her eyes. The only sound we hear from her is a small cough while a nurse comes in to check her stats.


The Blood Center teams up with Sickle Cell Association of Houston

The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center partnered with the Sickle Cell Association of Houston to host a blood drive Sept. 15 in recognition of Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month.

Blood transfusion is one treatment used to combat complications from sickle cell disease, a form of anemia most likely to affect people of African descent. Prince and her now 27-year-old daughter, Quannecia McCruse, founded the Sickle Cell Association of Houston years ago to educate and provide resources to the community.


Drive and save lives

Penny, a local teacher with some free time over the summer, has helped us kick off our new Volunteer Driver program. Are you interested in joining us in our mission to save lives? Call us at (713) 791-6262 or email

Overcoming fear: Donating blood for the first time

I’m a scaredy-cat. I readily admit it. I hate needles. That’s always been my excuse for why I don’t volunteer for anything with a needle. Flu shot? No way. Vaccines? I still remember the sheer terror I felt from them growing up. 

We are always #HoustonStrong

We never know when the next tragedy will strike, but we have to be ready when it does come. 

Meet Eden

CYPRESS – There is nothing more American than baseball and saving lives. Everyone who participates in The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s Home Run for Life competition will get a chance at both through June 30.


SuperMax is the hero Houston needs!

Max was born with a genetic disorder (neurofibromatosis type 1) that can cause tumors to grow on his nerve endings, and SuperMax has been his alter ego ever since. 

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center mourns Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush helped save lives in our community, and we celebrate her lifetime of accomplishments. The former First Lady set the bar high in her commitment to helping others.


Dr. Charles Drew: A Blood Banking Pioneer

Here at The Blood Center, we pride ourselves on being an organization of diversity. We work together to save and sustain lives, and we each bring a unique perspective when it comes to fulfilling our mission.

Tying the knot and saving lives

Hurricane Harvey destroyed homes, cars and many other things, but one thing it couldn’t destroy is the compassion for others in newlywed couple Gilbert and Stefanie Cruz. Gilbert and Stefanie were set to get married just a few days after Harvey passed, but due the storm’s aftermath they had to alter all of their plans on a moment’s notice.


Blood on ambulances helps EMS agencies save more lives

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has partnered with two local agencies providing emergency medical services to help save more lives when time is of the essence, now administering whole blood to patients on the ground.

Donor coaches hit the road sporting new look, features

In the last two years, five of The Blood Center's donor coaches have been refurbished. Find out why this is such an important process.

Circle of Life Bike Tour celebrates life

The Lone Star Circle of Life bike tour visits Texas cities to raise awareness of the need for blood, marrow, organ and tissue donations to honor those impacted by these donation types. This year’s eight-day, 600-mile tour included stops in Houston and College Station.

Blood Center Resources

Our mission is to partner with the community to save and sustain lives by providing a safe supply of blood, blood components and related services.

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center
1400 La Concha Lane
Houston, TX 77054

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