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 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 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.

Blood Center News
Blood donors help 3-year-old fight cancer

At 3 years old, Layla is a princess. She loves everything pink, has a big, beautiful smile and a wonderful sense of humor. 

Your blood can help advance medical care

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is working with a biotech company by providing mononuclear cells (also called T-cells or white blood cells) for work on COVID-19 and leukemia. That means you, me, or someone we know can contribute to groundbreaking work that could save countless lives. 

We knew y'all weren't mad

Nearly 500 people have been unable to give blood at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center this year because they were considered “at risk” for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. However, many now may be eligible to donate and save lives after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced in April it was loosening some of its regulations. 


Phlebotomist fights cancer

A phlebotomist at the Blood Center East Texas currently battling cancer, Fernando Ibarra is a hero in more ways than one. He’s worked for Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center just half a year, but his passion for our mission goes deeper than any typical job.  


Be the Match: Another way to save lives

Briana was a senior in high school and had been accepted to the University of Texas when she received a medical diagnosis that changed everything. While most high school seniors were preparing to go off to college, Briana was fighting for her life against a rare blood disorder, called severe aplastic anemia.

Donors recovered from COVID-19 are helping others

The response from people who have overcome COVID-19 to Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s call for convalescent plasma has been amazing. We’ve seen a number of donors step up to help patients fighting the disease in local hospitals, and it’s beautiful to see our community come together for such an important reason.  

How to prepare for your next blood donation

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is open by appointment only right now, and we want to make sure you’re in tip-top shape to give when you come in to see us. Good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle can help you save lives, so take advantage of these tips before your next opportunity to give blood.  

‘Superhero medicine’ and blood donors help save Owen’s life

Sarah was celebrating her son’s fourth birthday in 2018 when she had to excuse herself. While she had the video camera pointed at her young son’s face, Sarah couldn’t help thinking this birthday might be his last. 

Owen was battling brain cancer for the second time. 

Two years later, birthdays have become extra special at the Langston household. 

Give Texas

This year on Feb. 26, we honor Dr. Reiss and her legacy through the first-ever Texas Bone Marrow, Blood, and Organ Donation Registry Day, established through the work of State Rep. Gene Wu and passed into law last year.

Blood drives and homemade cookies save lives

The Blood Center depends on the passion of thousands of organizations across the Gulf Coast region to help us save lives. We need 800–1,000 donations a day to serve all of the patients in our community, and we couldn’t do it without businesses, high schools, colleges, churches and a slew of other organizations that work with us.

Give the gift of platelets

It’s the most wonderful time of the year … to donate platelets! We have an urgent need for blood and platelet donations during the holidays, and blood donation is a great way for blood donors to spread Christmas cheer. 

What type of blood donation works for you?

Whole blood, platelets, red blood cells or plasma — you’ve got options when it comes to saving lives, and each donation has its benefits.

Lone Star Circle of Life

Cole was one of several organ, stem cell and blood donors and recipients honored in the 2019 Lone Star Circle of Life Bike Tour. Fewer than 12 cyclists are chosen to participate in the biennial event, which lasts about a week. The tour stretched from Tyler to Waco to College Station to Katy to Victoria before ending in Corpus Christi. 

League of Heroes: Heal for Real appeals to gamers

I think it’s safe to say nobody was more psyched than Lance when The Blood Center partnered with Team Liquid for the Heal for Real campaign. Team Liquid is an international esports organization with more a fanbase of more than 7 million people. The campaign is aimed at the gamer community because healers can be a big part of winning attacks.

Elephants need blood, too

At The Blood Center, we're all about saving lives — human or otherwise.  So it was a big deal to hear that we had a small part in helping save the life of a baby elephant named Joy. Joy is an Asian elephant, a species classified as endangered with only an estimated 40,000 left in the world.

What if this is the one that helps cure cancer?

Today I want to introduce you to Anne, a component technician responsible for separating blood into its different components.


Be safe, healthy and well

Our blood donors are the best. That’s why we do everything we can to make sure they are safe and comfortable every time they come in to save lives. To truly have the best experience, though, donors should be prepared.

Are You All In?

Some people get starstruck when meeting famous actors, while others want athletes to sign their memorabilia. My coworkers and I get excited when we get to meet real-life superheroes — people give their time because they believe they must help others if given the opportunity.

5 reasons blood donors are the best

The generous spirit of our donors amazes me. There are countless ways to give back to your community, especially in this technological age. Google “ways to give back in the Houston area” and you’ll find long lists of the needs in society. It’s, quite frankly, overwhelming. But you, you’ve waded through all of that information to find the most selfless way to support the people around you.

Why do you give blood?

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.

Becoming Wonder Woman

I am an unashamed fan of Wonder Woman. Family members reminisced about how I used to wrap a towel around my neck and run around the house singing the “Woman Woman” theme song. (No, that wasn’t a typo. My ability to get song lyrics wrong was apparent even at the young ages of 3 and 4.)

You are powerful

Do you have any idea of the unbelievable power you have?

I was excited last summer to meet Shelley and her daughter, Courtney. The two were full of laughter and fun when Shelley came into our office for a photo shoot. Shelley is one of our long-time dedicated donors. She’s got that kind of giving spirit, and we were thrilled to capture a few photos of her.

Netflix and save lives like a hero: Top 5 movie recommendations

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to help save more lives than ever in 2019. But those automated donations can take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half. Mine, in particular, lean more toward the hour-and-a-half territory. What’s a girl to do? Watch Netflix movies and donate. And because I’m so thankful for your willingness to help us save lives, here are my top five recommendations for January.

Have you given a Holiday Hug?

One of the best parts of the Holiday Hugs tradition is reading the notes our donors write for patients in the hospital over the holidays. It’s not an easy task as each patient has his or her own individual circumstance, so we’re restricted in which cards we tie to each bear. Still, many of our donors are well up to the task.

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

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 help save and sustain lives by providing a safe supply of blood, biotherapies, and related services.

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

© Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center - Houston, Texas. All rights reserved. Powered by ContentActive