Archive for December, 2011

Homemade Ice Cream for Holiday Donors!

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Here in Houston, it’s not too cold for some homemade ice cream! We’re partnering with the ladies of Sweet Things Ice Cream Shoppe in Katy for their very first blood drive, this Friday, Dec. 23, from 12 to 6 p.m. All donors will receive a free ice cream cone, up to two flavors!

At Sweet Things, all of the ice cream, and yes, even the ice cream cones, are homemade – yum! Sweet Things is owned and operated by a Katy mom and her three daughters.

“We thought hosting a blood drive was a great way to give back to the community,” said Manager Jennifer Rico. “Donating blood is such a quick and easy way to give back.”

This family-owned business is located by Katy Mills Mall, so stop by during your last-minute shopping to help save lives and earn a sweet treat!

Santa will also be on site from 12 to 2 p.m. to take photos with donors! We hope to see you there!

Sweet Things Ice Cream Shoppe

1251 Pin Oak Road #125

Katy, Texas 77494


Community Will Pay Tribute to Fallen Deputy at Memorial Blood Drive

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

The Blood Center and Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office team up to honor the memory of Deputy John D. Norsworthy. Pictured: Sheriff Milton Wright, Director of Donor Recruitment Theresa Pina, Melissa Norsworthy, Chief Deputy Craig Brady and Donor Recruitment Coordinator Brenda DeFrayne

Late last December, after Christmas and the end of the typical holiday giving season, blood donors in our community stepped up to give back in a big way.

The catalyst was an auto accident that injured Deputy John D. Norsworthy of the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office. Norsworthy needed blood immediately, and individuals all over Fort Bend County and beyond responded to the call for donations.

During his hospitalization, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center received more than 660 blood donations in his name from individuals wanting to help. As a result, blood was not only available for doctors trying to save the deputy’s life, but for countless other patients throughout the Texas Gulf Coast region. Tragically, Deputy Norsworthy succumbed to his injuries on Jan. 4, 2011.

This Dec. 27, the one-year anniversary of his accident, the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office will host its first-ever Deputy John D. Norsworthy Memorial Blood Drive to honor the memory of the deputy. The group hopes to make it an annual event.

“Helping other people was what my husband was all about,” Melissa Norsworthy, his wife of 19 years, said. “If we can take that day and turn it into something good, I think that’s what he would want to do.”

The Deputy John D. Norsworthy Memorial Blood Drive will be held:
Tuesday, Dec. 27 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office – Grand Hall
1410 Williams Way
Richmond, Texas 77469

Schedule your donation online or call 1(888) 482-5663. The sponsor code for the drive is 5642.

A Piece of Blood Center History

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has been serving the greater Houston community since Jan. 1, 1975, and our name and logo are familiar to many throughout the region.

Still, it was a surprise when a kind stranger brought this pin to the Baytown Neighborhood Donor Center. The pin is simple – just a flower and three small diamonds – and has no name or label to identify the owner or origin. Yet, the stranger who found it recognized The Blood Center’s logo and kindly thought to return it to us.

As it turns out, this pin was one of just a few given to some of the first employees to celebrate their 30-year anniversaries with The Blood Center. Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is proud to be a workplace where many employees commit for careers spanning 20-plus years. In fact, The Blood Center’s first President and CEO, Bill T. Teague, led the organization for 31 years, before retiring in 2006.

Though the full story behind this pin remains a mystery, it’s a charming reminder of the impact Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has made in the lives of patients, donors and employees over the last 36 years and counting.

The Joy of Holiday Hugs

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

The “Reindeer Brigade” prepares to deliver teddy bears to patients at Texas Children’s Hospital.

This year, thanks to popular demand, our annual Holiday Hugs promotion was expanded to include the month of November, as well as December. The Holiday Hugs promotion is unique because it brings extra joy to so many different groups of people – not only to our Commit for Life donors, but to our hospital partners, to their patients and to our employees as well.

On Saturday, Nov. 19, Blood Center volunteers gathered in the Headquarters Auditorium to tie notes of well-wishes to hundreds of teddy bears. This year, the first shipment of bears was sent out in time for hospital staff to pass on the Holiday Hugs to patients spending Thanksgiving in the hospital.

Each year, Blood Center employees also have the opportunity to brighten the holiday season for local patients by hand-delivering teddy bears as part of The Blood Center’s “Reindeer Brigade.”

“Seeing the big smiles on the kids’ faces when we handed them their bears was priceless – it reminds me why the work I do here every day is so important,” said Donor Recruitment Coordinator Kim Parker, who delivered Holiday Hugs to Texas Children’s Hospital on Nov. 29.

The Reindeer Brigade will be making several more visits to hospitals in the Texas Medical Center before Christmas. Next year, gold-level Commit for Life donors will also have the opportunity to deliver teddy bears with the Reindeer Brigade – click here to learn more.

If you haven’t submitted your note of well-wishes yet, there’s still plenty of time! Just make an appointment to donate this month. Thank you to everyone involved in making the Holiday Hugs promotion such a success year after year!

The Blood Center East Texas · The Blood Center Brazos Valley

© 2011 Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center · Houston, Texas