Program FAQs

Since the beginning of the Commit for Life program, our dedicated blood donors have helped save millions of lives, and we could not be more grateful or proud. 

On Sept. 6, 2017, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center launched an updated Commit for Life program designed to make helping patients as easy and rewarding as possible for blood donors, and as of Feb. 1, 2019, the point system for donors and volunteers was revamped to support the new Donor Rewards Store.  

Read the FAQs to learn more about the program and how you can make the greatest difference for patients by Committing for Life.

What is it?

What is Commit for Life?

It is a partnership between you and Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center focused on saving lives, today and in the future. The program consists of three easy steps that reward your commitment to saving lives.

How does the program work?

If you have never donated before, you will become a Commit for Life Bronze member upon your first attempted donation. You will receive a welcome packet in the mail with a special gift and all the information you need to get the most out of your membership. Create a Digital Donor account within 30 days from your donation to earn points for donating and redeem your points in the Rewards Store

What are the steps to Commit for Life as a donor?

  1. Donate regularly.
    Regular donations are essential to an adequate blood supply. Depending on your eligibility, you should donate whole blood at least every six months or more frequently for plasma and platelet donations. Give as often as you can and earn points for every donation.

  2. Connect with us.
    Whether you prefer to hear from The Blood Center via email, phone, text, or social media, you can participate as a Commit for Life member by staying informed.

  3. Spread the word.
    Nothing is more powerful than hearing about the importance of blood donations from a Commit for Life donor. Tell your friends and family how they can save lives. 

Why should I Commit for Life?

There is no substitute for blood. It must be voluntarily donated by one person to be given to another. The need for different blood components – like red blood cells, platelets, plasma and source plasma – is constant. Giving on an ongoing basis helps ensure blood components are always available for the patients we serve. 

Check our Commit for Life videos that show the many reasons why The Blood Center is important to people and a special behind-the-scenes look into our operations. 

Where can I Commit for Life?

We have 17 Neighborhood Donor Centers conveniently located throughout the greater Houston area, Lufkin, Nacogdoches and College Station. Additionally, we have regular mobile blood drives at local businesses, churches, schools and other organizations within our 26-county region. Find a location near you.

How do I Commit for Life?

How do I join the Commit for Life program?

When you attempt to donate, you are enrolled in the Commit for Life program at the Bronze level. If you make a successful donation, you automatically reach the Silver level. When you donate at least three successful donations in a calendar year, or two if double red cells, you reach the Gold level. 

Who may Commit for Life?

The Commit for Life program as outlined above is for blood donors. However, there are opportunities for volunteers and blood drive groups to Commit for Life as well by following their own set of steps.

I am registered in Digital Donor. Am I a Commit for Life member?

If you have made at least one donation attempt, you are a Commit for Life member.  To begin earning points, you must create a Digital Donor account. You can do so by visiting giveblood.org or downloading our Digital Donor app available on iOS and Android devices. New donors and those who don’t have an account need to create one within 30 days of donating or they will lose their points.

Levels and Benefits

What are the levels of the new Commit for Life program?

Membership level is determined by donation activity in a calendar year. The donor starts the next year at the same level with the opportunity to move up. If a donor has no donation activity in one year, his or her level is reset to Bronze the following year.

  • Bronze – Donor makes at least one attempted donation in a calendar year.
  • Silver – Donor makes one or two successful donations in a calendar year.
  • Gold – Donor makes three or more successful donations in a calendar year (two if double red cells).

Is membership still based on a calendar year?

All activity is based on a calendar year. An individual’s donation activity in a calendar year determines his or her level for the rest of that year and the start of the following year. Donors have the opportunity to move to a higher level the next year by donating more often. If a donor has no donation activity in a calendar year, his or her level will be reset to Bronze the next year.

My group only has two drives per year. How do I become a Gold member?

If you would like to give more often, there are plenty of opportunities! Find a Neighborhood Donor Center or another mobile blood drive near you, so that you can make three donations in a calendar year. You may also let your group's blood drive chairperson know that you are interested in donating more frequently so they may consider hosting additional blood drives.

Why are you asking me to make an appointment?

Scheduling your donation allows us to plan ahead, ensuring we have the appropriate staff and resources on hand when you go to donate. It also helps us better manage our blood supply, so we can ensure patients receive the donations they need.

If I am late to my appointment, will I still get my points?

Yes, as long as you donate on the day of your appointment, you will be awarded the points earned for scheduling in advance.

How do I take advantage of my Advanced Wellness Check as a Gold member?

Gold members receive one complimentary Advanced Wellness Check per year. To make arrangements to have your complimentary Advanced Wellness Check at one of our Neighborhood Donor Centers, contact us at (713) 791-6260 or 1(800) 791-1666. If you would like to receive more than one per year, or if you are a Bronze or Silver member who would like an Advanced Wellness Check, you may place an order through the Commit for Life store using your points, and we will contact you to make arrangements.

To obtain accurate results, a blood sample should be taken when the individual has been fasting (no food or drink for 12 hours). Therefore, you will not be able to have a sample drawn for testing at the same time you donate blood. 

What if I want to donate without being a Commit for Life member?

Although you are automatically enrolled in the program upon making an attempted donation, you have the opportunity to set your own contact preferences. If you do not wish to use store points, we encourage you to donate them back to The Blood Center to help support our mission.

How Points Work

May I transfer my points to someone else?

These points are one way that we may thank you for saving lives by donating blood. You will not be able to transfer them to another person. We appreciate that you might not wish to use them for yourself and if you so choose, you may donate them back to The Blood Center.

Do points ever expire?

After 15 months in which you have no donation activity, your points will be donated back to The Blood Center. We will send you email notifications at 12, 13 and 14 months since your last activity to notify you that your points will expire if you do not attempt to donate by the 15-month mark.  Please ensure you are opted in to receive email communication from us. 

Please note: To begin earning points, you must create a Digital Donor account. You can do so by visiting giveblood.org or downloading our Digital Donor app available on iOS and Android devices. New donors and those who don’t have an account need to create one within 30 days of donating or they will lose their points.

 

May I give points back?

Yes, you may donate your points back to support The Blood Center in a variety of ways through the Rewards Store.

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Twelve students at the Thurgood Marshal School of Law already had signed up to give blood just one hour into their blood drive. It was amazing to see the heart of this high-achieving group taking time out of their studies with just weeks left in the semester to think about others.

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By Tammie Riley 

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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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