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 will launch an updated Commit for Life program designed to make helping patients as easy and rewarding as possible for blood donors.

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 that is focused on saving lives, today and in the future. The program consists of three easy steps that reward your commitment to saving lives.

Why is the program changing?

The Blood Center’s top priority is providing the blood components that area patients need, and we are committed to making it as convenient and rewarding as possible when donors help meet these needs. Currently, our regulatory agencies are working to implement changes that may significantly impact some donors’ eligibility. This update to the Commit for Life program aims to ensure every donor can be rewarded for contributing.

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 CFL membership. Earn points for donating and taking other actions to promote The Blood Center’s mission, and redeem your points in the Commit for Life store. Earn additional benefits as you reach the Silver and Gold levels by donating more often. 

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 or social media, you can participate as a Commit for Life member by staying informed. Earn CFL store points for each way you connect with us.

  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. Soon, look for the opportunity to earn referral points when they begin donating as well! 

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 constantly evolving and varies by blood type. Giving on an ongoing basis helps ensure the right components are always available for the patients we serve.

Where can I Commit for Life?

We have 14 Neighborhood Donor Centers conveniently located throughout the greater Houston area, plus in 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.

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 following their own set of steps.

Does optimum donation still impact my membership/points?

There are always specific components that are greatly needed from certain blood types, but which components you donate will not impact your membership or points. Donation points are based on giving either a whole blood or an automated donation. All automated donations earn 600 points, and all whole blood donations earn 400 points. 

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.

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).

What will my level be when the program changes?

Your level will be based on your donation activity in 2017 to date. If you have made an attempted donation but not successfully donated, you will start the program at Bronze level. If you have made one or two successful donations, you will start the program at the Silver level. If you have made three or more successful donations, you will start the program at the Gold level. This means some non-members may see their levels change to Bronze, Silver or Gold. Some Select members may see their levels change to Silver or Gold. All Elite members will become Gold.

Is membership still based on a calendar year?

The first membership year will be Sept. 6, 2017, to Dec. 31, 2018. After that, all activity will be 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. There is no penalty for not scheduling your donation – only a bonus for doing so, with even more points offered for scheduling your next donation on the day you donate.

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.

What are the program benefits?

Benefit

Bronze

Silver

Gold

Commit for Life membership card

Points earned for attempted donation

Opportunity to learn your blood type

Bonus points for Same-Day Rescheduling

Bonus points for Appointment Kept

Bonus points for Connect with Us

Access to Commit for Life store

Points earned for donating blood

 

Wellness check with every donation

 

Access to Commit for Life Gold store

 

 

Complimentary Advanced Wellness Check

 

 

Complimentary entry in Holiday Hugs Delivery Raffle

 

 

Participation in special recognition opportunities

 

 

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 CFL Store points, we encourage you to donate them back to The Blood Center to help support our mission.

How Points Work

When will I start earning points through the new program?

The new point system will go into effect on Sept. 6, 2017.

How do I earn points?

There are several opportunities to earn points.

Donation Points

    • Whole blood donation – 400 points
    • Automated donation – 600 points
    • Onsite deferral – 100 points

 

Same-Day Rescheduling Bonus – 100 points
On the day that you donate, schedule your next appointment to earn a bonus. Along with points for the Appointment-Kept Bonus (below), you will receive these points when you keep your scheduled appointment.

 

Appointment-Kept Bonus – 100 points
Schedule your next donation and earn a bonus when you keep your appointment! Appointments must be made at least one day before your donation.

Connect with Us
Points awarded annually except as noted.

  • Opt into phone calls – 100 points
  • Opt into emails – 100 points
  • Opt into text messages – 100 points
  • First login to Digital Donor – 500 points (one-time award)
  • Additional opportunities coming soon!

Why are you changing the point values?

The point system has been restructured to reward the amount of time each donor spends saving lives. Since automated donations require a longer time commitment to donate, donors earn additional points for giving. However, we recognize that some individuals are limited by the number of times they are eligible to give, so we have created opportunities to earn points outside of donating.

I donated yesterday, but my points aren't showing up in your system.

It may take up to a week for points to be added to your account.  If in seven days, your points are not available, please call us at (713) 791-6373 and let us know.

How do I get to the CFL store?

Visit giveblood.org and hover over the Commit for Life tab in the main menu. Select Commit for Life Store Preview to view the items available. When you are ready to go shopping, go to Digital Donor, sign in and follow the links.

How does someone redeem their points if they don't have web access?

The donor may call (713) 791-6373 and place an order with our Customer Service staff.

May I still earn points even if I've been deferred?

Yes, you earn 100 points for your onsite deferral and can take advantage of bonus point opportunities through the Connect with Us step, with more opportunities coming soon.

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.

May I give points back?

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

Blood Center News
New Steps, New Rewards in Commit for Life Program Update

Beginning Sept. 6, 2017, the Commit for Life program is changing, to help ensure every donor can be rewarded for contributing. Learn more.

2017 Commit for Life Scholarship Winners

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is excited to announce the 2017 Commit for Life Scholarship recipients.

Commit for Life Program Year Extended

The Blood Center is extending the first CFL program year, which would have ended Dec. 31, to March 31, 2017.

The Blood Center helping nationwide during times of crisis

Thanks to dedicated donors who have ensured an adequate supply is available local patients, The Blood Center has been able to assist blood centers nationwide during times of crisis in 2016. Most recently, The Blood Center sent blood to Florida after the state was unable to collect during Hurricane Matthew.

New source plasma donation sites added to Blood Center roster

Source plasma is the latest blood component that The Blood Center has begun to collect in an effort to help save more lives. Source plasma is a component that is used to make therapeutic proteins, which are lifesaving medicines for patients battling more than 80 different diseases.

New weight requirements for donors between the ages of 16 to 18

As of Aug. 16, donors between the ages of 16 to 18 must be at least 122 pounds to donate. This is latest step The Blood Center is taking to help reduce the risk of donor reactions and injuries, which are more common among smaller, younger donors.

The Blood Center sends units to Dallas following shootings

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center sends blood to Dallas to help those in need following Thursday's shootings.

MILA Foundation partners with The Blood Center

The Blood Center has various partners throughout the community who help us save lives and continuously accomplish our mission. Recently, we hosted a blood drive with a new partner whose mission is as honorable as any and whose story is profound.

The Blood Center partners with the Houston Zoo

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center recently embarked on a unique partnership with the Houston Zoo that is dedicated to helping treat a deadly virus in elephants.

Regulatory Changes Affect Donor Eligibility

The FDA has revised its donor acceptability guidelines, and Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center will implement these changes beginning May 23, 2016.

2016 Commit for Life Scholarship Winners

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is excited to announce the 2016 Commit for Life Scholarship recipients.

Blood Center to Begin Testing for Zika Virus May 23

The test is part of an Investigational New Drug Application protocol approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The cobas® Zika test is manufactured by Roche Molecular Systems.

The Blood Center holds annual brunch for volunteers

Every year, The Blood Center takes time during National Volunteer Appreciation Week to thank the volunteers who used their time to help us save lives.

Meet our Volunteers: Marsha Asplin and Jim Daurity

This month we would like to highlight the dynamic duo of Marsha Asplin and Jim Daurity. Marsha and Jim volunteered the most hours in 2015.

Annual 'Roll the Dice' event raises funds for Marrow Donor Program

The Gulf Coast Marrow Donor Program successfully raised $140,000 at their 18th annual Roll the Dice for Life event. The money will go toward continued efforts of helping patients fighting blood cancers.

The Blood Center safeguarding against Zika Virus

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is taking measures to help safeguard the blood supply as the Zika Virus spreads.

Meet Our Volunteers: Humble/Kingwood Community Advocates

Volunteering as a Community Advocate at one of our 13 Neighborhood Donor Centers is one way individuals may partner with The Blood Center to save lives.

The Blood Center celebrates 27th 100-gallon donor

The Blood Center congratulates James Tullis for giving his 100th gallon of blood in November.

New Commit for Life Program

Beginning Oct. 6, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is excited to introduce an updated Commit for Life program that will reflect the changing daily needs of patients and ensure donors are recognized for giving the most essential blood components.

August 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the August edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

July 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the July edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

June 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the June edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Hematocrit Deferral Period Extended

Having a low hematocrit level is one of the most common reasons individuals are deferred from donating blood.

May 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the May edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

2015 Commit for Life Scholarship Winners

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has selected the winners of its Commit for Life Creative Scholarship. 

Celebrating our Volunteers

On Saturday, April 18, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Brunch recognized our hardworking and dedicated Commit for Life volunteers.

April 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the April edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

March 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the March edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

2015 Luncheon and Awards Ceremony

Gold-level blood drive groups – those that host at least four drives per year – were honored at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s annual “A Celebration of Life” Luncheon and Awards Ceremony on Feb. 12, 2015 at the Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria. 

February 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the February edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Roll the Dice for Life

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s Marrow Donor Program hosted its 17th annual Roll the Dice for Life fundraiser Friday, Feb. 6, at The Bell Tower on 34th.

January 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the January edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Patrick McDonald is 26th 100-Gallon Donor

On Wednesday, Jan. 14, Patrick McDonald of Deer Park became the 26th blood donor in the Texas Gulf Coast region to give 800 donations, the equivalent of 100 gallons.

December Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the December edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

November Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the November edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Workshop Prepares Students to Host Blood Drives

Last week, 180 local high school students took over the halls and conference rooms of Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s headquarters for the 2014 High School Workshop.

October Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the October edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Circle of Life Bike Tour Rides into Houston

The Lone Star Circle of Life Bike Tour rode into Houston on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, to raise awareness of the need for more lifesaving blood, bone marrow, organ and tissue donors in Texas. 

September Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the September edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

August Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the August edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Congratulations to Our Gas Card Giveaway Winners!

Thank you to everyone who participated in July’s gas card giveaway and congratulations to our winners. Here are last month’s winners and where they donated.

July Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the July edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Congratulations to our Family Vacation Month Winners!

Thank you to everyone who participated in June’s Family Vacation Month giveaway and congratulations to our winners.

June Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the June edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

New License Expands Impact on Rare Donor Patients

Thanks to a recently approved FDA license, patients across the country in need of rare units of red blood cells may breathe a little sigh of relief. 

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center Gives Back

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center serves more than 170 hospitals and health care institutions in the 26-county Texas Gulf Coast, Brazos Valley and East Texas regions. 

May Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the May edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Commit for Life Creative Scholarship Winners

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has selected the winners of its Commit for Life Creative Scholarship. 

April Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the April edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

New Rare Donor Program: One 2 One

You may have recently received a letter in the mail from us thanking you for your donation along with a new green and white donor ID card with the words “One 2 One” on it.

March Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the March edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

February Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the February edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Gold-level Groups Honored at Annual 'Celebration'

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center hosted its annual “A Celebration for Life” luncheon and awards ceremony at Hilton Americas-Houston Hotel on Feb. 28.

Six Days a Week to Help Save Lives!

Starting Feb. 17, most Houston-area Neighborhood Donor Centers will be open six days a week!

Creative Scholarship Deadline is March 1

The deadline for The Blood Center’s Commit for Life Creative Scholarship is rapidly approaching, and eligible high school seniors are encouraged to apply by March 1!

January Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the January edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Additional Donor Centers Now Open Mondays

Beginning Monday, Jan. 6, donors in the Clear LakeThe Woodlands and Westchase areas will have extra opportunities to help save lives! These Neighborhood Donor Centers will now be open on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Meet the Executives

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s executive team spearheads the organization’s mission of partnering with the community to help save and sustain lives by providing a safe supply of blood, blood components and related service. Meet the dynamic men and women who drive The Blood Center’s continued success.

National Volunteer Week 2016

April 10 through 16 is National Volunteer Week. It is a time when organizations around the country highlight and show appreciation for the people who unselfishly donate their time to various causes for the benefit of others. 

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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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