San Antonio City Council announces ‘SA District Challenge’ blood drive winner

Friendly competition helps fight summer blood shortage

San Antonio City Council District 4, represented by Dr. Adriana Rocha Garcia, is the winner of the second “SA District Challenge” blood drive competition held in August.

Community members who participated in the contest among members of the City Council made 250 blood donations to help the community blood supply.

District 1, represented by Mario Bravo, finished second, followed by District 8, which is represented by Manny Pelaez.

The challenge helped meet community blood requests from hospitals during the summer blood shortage. The competition was first organized by councilmember Ana Sandoval and her staff, in conjunction with the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center. In addition to saving lives, each blood donation was matched with $10 donations to provide classroom supplies for schools within each district.

“I’m grateful to my colleagues for rallying their communities for such a worthy cause. Our efforts will save lives,” Sandoval said. “If you weren’t able to donate, I encourage you to schedule a donation soon. The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center needs our continued support.”

Blood donations decline during the summer, as high schools and colleges are on break or canceled their drives due to the pandemic. But the demand for blood in South Texas and across the nation doesn’t slow down, and patient needs continue to outpace donations.

To help with the blood donation campaign, businesses, schools and even patients helped share the word like Greg, a husband and father of two who needs blood transfusions as he battles leukemia.

“Thank you to Greg for sharing his story and inspiring donors to give the gift of life,” Bravo said. “A total of 49 donors, including 15 first-time participants, contributed to this event. We are excited to partner with the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center once again for another blood drive at Central Catholic High School on Thursday, Oct. 7.”

“I’m grateful to our District 4 community for answering this call for help as we raise awareness and encourage those who can to donate to the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center,” Rocha Garcia said. “Although this friendly competition with my council colleagues may have been the motivation, I’m amazed to see the level of compassion and generosity exhibited by our residents from all parts of San Antonio. I’m especially grateful to the Southwest ISD team for being valued community partners ready to help and serve our residents.”

“I want to thank my neighbors who came out to support our efforts to save lives by donating blood at the District 8 blood drive and the other City Council events,” Pelaez said. “It is critical that we continue to roll up our sleeves and donate blood. Without these daily donations, surgeries are postponed, cancer patients can’t get their treatments, and lives are unnecessarily put at risk. Donating blood costs the donor nothing except a little bit of time, and in return one donation can save as many as three lives. Please consider donating today.”

Donors who were unable to donate during the SA District Challenge can still give at a South Texas Blood & Tissue Center drive or donor room. Make an appointment by visiting SouthTexasBlood.org or calling 210-731-5590.