H-E-B and Carter BloodCare celebrate 17th Annual “H-E-B Challenge”
MARLIN, Texas (July 24, 2020) – This summer marks the 17th annual “H-E-B Challenge” blood drive in central Texas. The grocery chain prioritizes blood donation in the summer to help boost donations when collections are at one of their lowest periods. This year the stakes are even higher due to the alarming effects of COVID-19 on the blood supply.
H-E-B began the community partnership with Carter BloodCare in 2002, when the company sponsored our first large-scale, companywide, multi-location blood drive event. This year’s blood drive event will be held at various H-E-B locations in central Texas for two consecutive weeks.
“More than any other summer, this year is crucial for the blood supply,” said Linda Goelzer, director of Carter BloodCare public relations. “Blood drives at schools, businesses and houses of worship have been canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions; thus, creating a large deficit in the community blood supply. We appreciate H-E-B’s commitment to partner with us, especially under these circumstances.”
H-E-B Challenge is coming to the Harker Heights area. The blood drive is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 29 at 435 Live Oak in the parking lot on the Carter BloodCare bus. For more information or an appointment time, contact Katherine O’Connell at (254) 803-5501.
This summer, employees of the participating central Texas H-E-B stores will again challenge each other to entice the most blood donors, in the series of onsite blood drives. The store with the highest ratio of donors versus partners (employees) receives a traveling trophy; this helps equal the playing field between small and large stores. The store that accumulates the most units of blood from their drive is also awarded a trophy. In addition, the Carter BloodCare Central Texas staff hosts an ice cream social for the H-E-B employees of the two winning stores. H-E-B Corsicana was the 2019 champion for the highest percentage of donor participation, with 21 percent participation. Killeen Trimmier H-E-B won the 2019 contest for the greatest number of donations accrued, with 43 units. Carter BloodCare also issues an annual award for the H-E-B that supports blood donation throughout the year. The 2019 winner was Granbury H-E-B with a total of 145 annual units.
Carter BloodCare is focused on providing a safe donation experience. Currently, masks are required for donors and our staff; we are performing additional sanitizing between donations; and there is room for social distancing. Here are some ways donors can do their part to help. To reduce wait times, donors can fill out a questionnaire online before they show up to donate blood. This means fewer people are waiting, making it easier to “social distance.” Making an appointment is the best way to manage overcrowding.
Carter BloodCare has begun COVID-19 antibody testing for a limited time. All successful blood donations at the H-E-B challenge will be tested. Donors can retrieve their results, in one to two weeks, through their online donor account. We recommend donors create an account after their donation, if they do not have one.
For information on donor eligibility and appointments, call or text 800-366-2834 or visit carterbloodcare.org. For more information on antibody testing for COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control web site.
H-E-B, with sales of more than $18 billion, operates more than 337 stores in Texas and Mexico. Known for its innovation and community service, H-E-B celebrated its 110th anniversary in 2015. Recognized for its fresh food, quality products, convenient services, and a commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability, H-E-B strives to provide the best customer experience at everyday low prices. Based in San Antonio, H-E-B employs more than 76,000 Partners and serves millions of customers in more than 150 communities.
About Carter BloodCare
Carter BloodCare is an independent, community blood center, providing transfusion resources to more than 180 medical facilities, in 50-plus counties of north, central and east Texas. The non-profit 501(c)(3) organization is one of the largest blood programs in Texas, delivering more than 300,000 blood products annually to meet hospitals’ requirements for their patients. Services include collection, processing, specialized laboratory testing, storage and distribution of blood and blood products. The program is accredited by the AABB, including a laboratory with accreditation for molecular testing of red cell antigens. It is licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is a member of America’s Blood Centers.