Posts Tagged ‘summer’

The Blood Center Helps Feed the Hungry

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

One of the many ways that employees here at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center work together to give back to the community is by contributing money and food to the Houston Food Bank. For more than 20 years, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has partnered with KHOU 11 for its summer food drive. During the summer, children do not have access to school food programs, and the KHOU Food for Thought Back to School Drive is strategically placed to help fill that need.

This year, Blood Center employees are proud to have raised more than $8,000 and 500 pounds of food to support the hungry in our communities. While the Houston Food Bank is the primary recipient of these efforts, Blood Center employees in Brazos Valley and East Texas also collect food and money for the food banks that support their local communities. Members of The Blood Center’s Food Drive Committee led their departments in hosting internal raffles and events to make the fundraising truly fun for all. In today’s blog entry, first-time committee member Accounting Clerk Minerva Salinas describes her experience helping out with this year’s food drive:

Summer to me means helping raise funds for the Houston Food Bank by indulging in eats and treats. To raise money for the food drive, different departments take turns hosting fundraisers, open to all Blood Center employees, and the funds raised go directly to the food bank.

Our department fundraiser started off simple. Our idea was to have a pie sale for all of our coworkers, featuring apple pies, cherry pies, chocolate pies and meat pies made of ground beef. But being the creative group that we are, we decided to mix things up a bit. The simple apple, cherry and chocolate pies became apple with chopped, mixed nuts, cherry with cream and chocolate with banana. Oh, but it didn’t stop there. We added a sweet powder glaze on top too. Then, I suggested ice cream as an added bonus. Oh my, talk about indulging! Our sale was a hit to say the least.
We were ecstatic with the funds we raised selling pies to our colleagues and decided to host a second fundraiser: fried ice cream. We served this with a side of whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. We also prepared a homemade lemon bunt cake in the kitchen at the office. The building smelled of fresh lemon zest, which set hungry mouths watering with anticipation, ready to buy sweets for a good cause.

I am grateful that The Blood Center allows its employees to work together to give back to the community in this creative way. Other departmental fundraisers included a gourmet pasta lunch, summer salad fest, an ice cream happy hour and homemade gluten-free snacks. We put in a lot of hard work and had fun raising money and collecting food for the hungry in our community.

Media Drives Boost Summer Blood Supply

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

The summer and holidays are particularly challenging times for blood collections, and Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center would like to thank a few of our media partners for continuing their commitment by hosting blood drives around Fourth of July weekend.

KPRC Local 2, The Arrow 93.7 FM, the Houston Astros and 103.7 FM hosted back-to-back blood drives from June 23 to July 9 at 33 different locations around the Houston area.

These organizations pitched their support behind The Blood Center in the form of on-air promotions, live broadcasts from the blood drives, extra giveaways for donors and donations from several media personalities, including The Arrow’s Steve Fixx and KPRC Local 2’s Owen Conflenti.

It all paid off – these drives collected a combined total of 3,094 successful donations, and 305 of those donations were from new donors. WOW!

Thank you to all the Commit for Life donors and volunteers who contributed to the success of these blood drives. With your help, The Blood Center continues to maintain an adequate blood supply for patients in our region.

Didn’t have a chance to make it to one of our recent media drives? We still have plenty of opportunities to give every day. Remember, the need for 1,000 donations a day remains constant. Find a location near you and come out to help save a life this summer!

Maximize Your CFL Points in June and July!

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Have you heard about our 2D promotion yet? Commit for Life donors who successfully donate in June or July will receive double points for each donation! Points can be redeemed for T-shirts, travel mugs, gift cards and other Commit for Life gear in the Commit for Life store.

Commit for Life donors who give an automated donation during this promotion have the opportunity to earn as many as 1,500 points for one donation, and new Commit for Life members can easily earn 900 points for one donation – WOW! How is that possible? By taking advantage of all the bonus points Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center offers!

How an Automated Donor Can Earn 1,500 Points:
400 points: Independence Day Weekend NDC Special Bonus
+ 100 points: Appointment-Kept Bonus
+ 500 points: Automated Donation
+ 500 points: Double Donation Points Promotion
= 1,500 points for one donation!

 How a First-Time Donor Can Earn 900 Points:
200 points: June NDC Special Bonus

+ 100 points: Appointment-Kept Bonus
+ 200 points: First Whole Blood Donation
+ 200 points: Double Donation Points Promotion
+ 200 points: Commit for Life Sign-Up Bonus
= 900 points for one donation!

Earning all of the bonus points listed above will take some planning on your part – you’ll need to call your Neighborhood Donor Center or log in to Digital Donor at least 24 hours in advance to make an appointment for a day that qualifies for the June Neighborhood Donor Center Specials or the Independence Day Weekend Neighborhood Donor Center Special. These specials are valid only at Neighborhood Donor Centers, not mobile blood drives.

The June Neighborhood Donor Center Special offers 200 bonus points for donations occurring June 17 through 20, and June 24 through 27. The Independence Day Weekend Neighborhood Donor Center Special offers 400 bonus points for donations occurring July 1 through 5. Read How the Point System Works for more details about donation points, the appointment-kept bonus, and the Commit for Life sign-up bonus.

Fewer individuals come in to donate during the summer and around holidays, so The Blood Center offers bonus points to encourage donations during these times. By donating during a Neighborhood Donor Center Special, not only are you earning extra Commit for Life points for yourself, you’re also helping ensure that the blood supply remains stable during a crucial time. The truth is, emergency surgeries, cancer treatments and other blood transfusions continue throughout the summer and holidays, and those patients count on blood donated by people like you.

So make an appointment to donate, earn some extra Commit for Life points and help save lives this summer! When is your next donation?

School’s Out for Summer!

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Last week saw the final high school blood drives of the 2010 – 2011 school year. It’s been an incredible year for the Power of Life – altogether 587 high school blood drives collected 92,508 products – WOW!

One of the final high school blood drives of the school year took place last week at Endeavor High School, Channelview ISD’s School of Choice. Endeavor is a small campus that offers direct guidance and low student-to-teacher ratios for students who haven’t seen success in a traditional environment.

“We have a mostly at-risk population of students that have not always felt successful in their endeavors. Participating in the school blood drives gives them the opportunity to do something for other people without regard to their past history,” said school counselor and blood drive chairperson Karen Bryant.

Endeavor has been hosting blood drives with Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center since 2009, however Bryant admits she was reluctant to begin hosting blood drives because she wasn’t sure how much of an impact the small campus could make. However, her outlook quickly changed after she saw the impact on the campus.

“After the first blood drive, it was very clear that it benefitted the students,” Bryant said. “It gives them a sense of purpose and allows the students to experience success.”

Clearly, the students at Endeavor are eager to give back by donating blood; the school collects an average of about 50 products at each drive, and last week’s drive saw several first-time student donors. Juan Bellavides celebrated his 16th birthday by making his very first whole blood donation, and 17-year-old Ernest Garcia gave double red cells during his very first donation.

“There’s a first time for everything. If I needed blood, I would like someone to donate for me, so I wanted to give back,” Garcia said.

High school blood drives like Endeavor’s account for 20 percent of The Blood Center’s mobile collections, and the absence of these high school drives is one reason blood donations tend to decrease during the summer months. So, this summer, please follow in these dedicated students’ footsteps, and remember to donate!

Log in to Digital Donor to schedule your donation online.


Meet the First Schlitterbahn Winner of our 2011 Family Vacation Month Promotion!

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Andrea Wallace won a four-pack of tickets to Schlitterbahn Galveston Island and a Commit for Life beach pack through The Blood Center’s Family Vacation Month promotion. One of Andrea’s motivations to donate is her daughter Savannah, (pictured on T-shirt) who is now two months cancer free!

Congratulations to our first Family Vacation Month Schlitterbahn tickets winner: Andrea Wallace of Pearland won a four-pack of tickets to Schlitterbahn Galveston Island for her attempted donation at Texas Children’s Hospital on April 26! All who donated or attempted to donate during the month of April were entered into the random drawing for the Schlitterbahn tickets.

Andrea’s trip to Schlitterbahn will be extra special, because her 5-year-old daughter Savannah is now two months cancer free and healthy enough to enjoy the trip to the water park.

“We’ve certainly used the blood supply. We’re big donors because of that,” Andrea said, referring to the blood Savannah received during her treatments at Texas Children’s Hospital. Many cancer patients receive platelets throughout their chemotherapy regimen.

Two weeks remain in the Family Vacation Month promotion, so schedule your appointment to donate today! Your donation will help a patient in our community, like Savannah, and you could even win a four-pack of tickets to Schlitterbahn or a Commit for Life gift package. 

Congratulations to the entire Wallace family – enjoy your trip to Schlitterbahn!

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