San Antonio Chamber partners with South Texas Blood & Tissue Center to address critical summer blood shortages
The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) for the fourth annual B2B Blood Drive Challenge to help address critical blood shortages this summer. The participation of local businesses will help patients across the region who are in need of blood and platelet donations.
The challenge comes at a time when STBTC is looking to prevent blood shortages in South Texas. Shortages of donations during the summer have become a common problem in many parts of the United States. There already have been reports of blood rationing in some US cities and the combination of summer heat and thunderstorms will only make shortages worse.
“We’re asking San Antonio’s businesses and organizations to rally together and show the country we can lead the way in preventing blood shortages during the summer,” said Richard Perez, President and CEO for San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. “Our research shows that healthcare is the No. 1 industry in San Antonio, and we want the country to see we’re leading the way in the campaign to increase blood donations.”
Nationally, donations are at their lowest levels in 30 years, and they have decreased 19 percent in South Texas since 2013 despite population growth. Blood donations typically decline during the summer because high schools are not in session and frequent donors are on vacation.
“Business-sponsored drives have dropped and employee donations at those drives have also declined, reducing the community blood supply,” said Elizabeth Waltman, COO of STBTC. “Having an adequate blood supply is vital to our growing communities throughout South Texas. Patients and their families are counting on all of us to ensure they have the live-saving transfusions they require.”
The Chamber is asking its member businesses to schedule blood drives with STBTC during the summer and request 20 percent of their employees to participate at those drives. Companies can sign up for the challenge, which runs through Labor Day on Sept. 2, and monitor results on a digital leaderboard by going to B2BChallenge.org.
The Chamber and STBTC will be using the hashtag #B2BChallengeSA to promote the drive. They encourage participating companies to do so as well during the campaign to spotlight participating businesses on social media.
Winners of the friendly competition will be tallied in several categories, including organizations reaching the goal of 20 percent employee participation in summer blood drives. Winners will be recognized in community ads and at a Chamber event this fall.
Participating organizations are asked to host at least one blood drive between Memorial Day and Labor Day. A minimum of 25 advance sign-ups are required to host an onsite blood drive. Companies unable to secure 25 advance sign-ups are encouraged to have company representatives donate on the company’s behalf at one of five area San Antonio donor rooms.