The Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas announced its rebrand last week. We Are Blood—the center’s new name—is a declaration of what it provides while highlighting a shared resource that bonds the Austin community.

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A photo posted by We Are Blood (@wearebloodtx) on

For the past 65 years, We Are Blood has been dedicated to providing quality resources for the Austin community, and it plans on doing so for years to come. In honor of its recent anniversary and rebrand, we wanted to celebrate just how much the center does for our community.

Here are 10 ways We Are Blood helps the Austin community.

10. We Are Blood is a true Austinite

Travis County Medical Society Blood Bank founded The Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas in 1951. Given its governance in the area, many residents assume the brand is an affiliate of other national blood banks. Regardless of its size and authority, though, the center has remained true to its Austin roots, being an active voice in the community.

Unlike other blood banks, newly named We Are Blood only serves residents in Central Texas. The center says, “donations might not travel far, but they go a long way.”

9. The center’s mission remains its focus, even after 65 years

The Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas was founded on a simple mission: “to safeguard the community’s gifts of blood and tissue with uncompromising quality and excellence in customer service.” Sixty-five years later, it continues to do so. As the exclusive provider of the community blood supply for more than 39 facilities in a ten-county service area, We Are Blood honors that mission still today.

You can find a list of counties it serves here.

8. It offers round-the-clock service to Austin residents

According to Cindy Rowe, We Are Blood’s Public Relations Manager, the center has staff members working around the clock. At any time of day, staff members are able to provide proper supplies to Austinites in need.

To meet Austin’s basic daily blood supply needs, roughly 200 individuals need to donate blood each day. Blood has a shelf life of 42 days. We Are Blood’s attentive staff is constantly working with and caring for the center’s blood supply.

7. It educates Austin residents

 There’s a lot to learn when it comes to donating blood. That’s why We Are Blood makes it a priority to educate Austin residents. Individuals who donate blood are given an informational brochure that walks them through the process; others can visit the We Are Blood website for information related to eligibility, expectations, blood types, and much more.

The center also offers private informational sessions with anyone who reaches out to them. Such events include a facility tour and company overview.

6. The center offers community enrichment programs

We Are Blood offers six different volunteer programs. They include the Blood Assurance Program, Type Local High School Program, Texas State Clinical Laboratory Science Program, PhD Program, Spokesman Program, and Volunteer Program. While one program offers coupons for limited financial reimbursement, another offers an opportunity to speak on behalf of We Are Blood about the importance of donating blood. Each program educates participants and provides an opportunity to volunteer.

Learn more about the different programs here.

5. It partners with local high schools  

The Type Local High School Program is one of the aforementioned programs offered by We Are Blood. Each chapter hosts two blood drives annually and are organized by students at participating high school campuses. Last year, almost 5,000 students participated and about 14,000 lives were saved. In fact, roughly 12% of Austin blood donations come from high school campuses. Through this partnership, students gain volunteer experience and a deeper understanding of selflessness.

4. It invests in Austin’s youth

In addition to its high school program, We Are Blood also awards scholarships to high school students as well as four high school campuses in Austin. Six scholarships are given out annually. Two student scholarships are awarded to high school seniors that show a commitment to donating blood while four scholarships are awarded to different schools with successful blood drives.

We Are Blood staff members also frequent high school campuses to speak to students about the organization and blood-banking careers.

3. The center supports other Austin nonprofits

Shaina Novotny, Director of Community Engagement, says We Are Blood is a passionate supporter of other Austin nonprofits. Each year, staff members host multiple donation-based drives for everyday items as well as cause-specific items like purses and clothing. Novotny says We Are Blood strives to give back to the community in more ways than one. She says supporting other local nonprofits—as well as health-based programs—is one way of doing so.

2. The center is involved with local public service campaigns

Earlier this year, We Are Blood partnered with ABC Home & Commercial Services to raise awareness about the Zika Virus. The duo provided information about the virus in addition to the efforts each organization was making to keep Central Texas residents safe. The public service campaign is another example of how We Are Blood strives to serve and provide for the Austin community.

1. It keeps Austin’s blood—and streets—clean

In an effort to keep Austin beautiful, We Are Blood adopted a portion of 45th street. The half-mile strip is next to their office on North Lamar. As proud owners, the center hosts at least four cleanups a year and strives to keep the area litter-free.

We need your help! We are critically low on O+, O-, A+, and A- blood. Will you donate blood to help your community? . More than 20,000 people have been rescued from the recent massive floods in Louisiana, and even though the rain has stopped, the water continues to rise. These conditions have drastically impacted Louisiana’s existing blood supply and their ability to collect new blood from potential donors is compromised. They've reached out to neighboring cities for help. . Unfortunately, we have been experiencing critically low blood supply ourselves, and Central Texas has been unable to help this time. However, if we are able to build a surplus over the next few days, we will be able to respond to the call. . Please share this post with your friends and family to give us an opportunity to help out our neighbors in Louisiana. Thank you.

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For We Are Blood, supporting the Austin community extends beyond supplying quality resources to the residents that live here. To its members, it’s all encompassing. That’s why We Are Blood supports other nonprofits, educates the community, and focuses on the next generation of Austin’s blood donors.

To learn about ways to get involved, visit their new website.

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