Kim Stoker opened the door to the Bloodmobile parked outside of CPS Energy’s downtown headquarters and stepped inside. After a mini-physical and some paperwork, a nurse found a vein, inserted a needle and hooked her up to a machine that gently pumped her blood into a bag.
Stoker, a regular donor, was one of many CPS Energy employees who took time out of her busy day last week to donate blood in the face of a severe shortage.
So did Rudy Garza, CPS Energy’s vice president of external relations.
“I donate blood at least 2-3 times a year,” said Garza. “It helps people and is an easy way to give back to the community. I’ve had a fairly healthy life up to this point and I know there are a lot of people out there who have not.”
For Stoker, giving was personal. A fellow employee she’s known for many years is in need of blood donations.
“I read the email saying he needed blood and even though I give regularly, this time I wanted to donate especially for him,” she said.
He’s not the only one in need.
The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center faces a looming blood shortage and needs donors of all blood types. The center supplies blood to 67 hospitals in 43 South Texas counties, for patients who have cancer or are diabetic, recipients of organ or tissue transplants, trauma victims and others.
Arleen Sanchez has been CPS Energy’s blood drive coordinator for the center for the past several years. They’re held outside CPS Energy’s downtown headquarters quarterly.
“We don’t just supply power to this community, we’re a part of it,” said Sanchez. “So whether it’s employees giving blood to help out a colleague, or just to help out, giving blood is something many can do. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but it can make a huge impact.”
As the Center notes, a single donated unit of blood has the potential to save up to three lives.
Anyone interested in donating blood can visit one of seven South Texas Blood & Tissue Center locations.