Competition fights blood shortages during pandemic, recognizes National Blood Donor Month
To help meet continuing blood demands and to recognize National Blood Donor Month, San Antonio City Councilmembers have announced an “SA District Challenge” from Jan. 19-22.
The councilmembers will each sponsor a blood drive with the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center in their district, competing to see which drive can bring in the most donors. The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, the region’s community blood supplier since 1974, is a subsidiary of San Antonio-based nonprofit BioBridge Global.
Hospitals typically need more blood in January, as patient procedures that may have been postponed over the holidays are scheduled. The need is especially acute this year, with the community blood supply at dangerously low levels following the cancellation of more than 1,000 blood drives since the start of the pandemic.
The competition was organized by councilmember Ana Sandoval and her staff. Drives included in the first-ever SA District Challenge are:
- Robert Trevino, District 1: Cano Health on Jan. 21
- Jada Andrews-Sullivan, District 2: WestCare Foundation on Jan 20
- Rebecca J. Viagran, District 3: Embassy Suites by Hilton on Jan. 19
- Dr. Adriana Rocha Garcia, District 4: St. Bonaventure Catholic Church on Jan. 22
- Shirley Gonzales, District 5: Collins Garden Library on Jan. 19
- Melissa Cabello Havrda, District 6: Edgewood Fine Arts (Lobby) on Jan. 22
- Ana Sandoval, District 7: Crossroads Baptist Church on Jan. 21
- Manny Peláez, District 8: Embassy Suites by Hilton SA Landmark on Jan. 19
- John Courage, District 9: San Antonio Shrine Auditorium and West Avenue Compassion on Jan. 20
- Clayton Perry, District 10: Northern Hills UMC Ministry Center on Jan. 22
“I’m appreciative of my council colleagues for joining me in this blood drive competition between our offices.” said Sandoval, District 7 Councilwoman. “With so many people depending on blood donations, it’s time we come together, roll up our sleeves, and make the Blood & Tissue Center whole. May the best member win!”
“Donating blood is an opportunity to help and serve another person in need,” said Dr. Adriana Rocha Garcia, District 4 Councilwoman. “I may not know the recipient, but our common humanity bonds us. You may never know when your loved ones may be in need or the number of lives you can impact with this selfless act.”
Donors can see a list of the councilmember’s drives and make an appointment by visiting SouthTexasBlood.org/SAChallenge or calling 210-731-5590.
All blood donors in January will receive a $10 Walmart gift card, voucher for a 20 oz. smoothie of their choice from Smoothie King on select dates, as well as points toward additional gift cards or South Texas Blood & Tissue Center merchandise.
Blood transfusions are the most frequent procedure performed in U.S. hospitals, requiring more than 33,000 donations per day to meet patient needs. One in seven patients entering the hospital will need at least one transfusion.
The first National Blood Donor Month was in January 1970 to honor voluntary blood donors and encourage new donors.