Help Fill The Banks
Give Blood. Give Food
East Texans are asked to step up and help Fill the Banks, both the East Texas Food Bank and Carter BloodCare, by giving blood and food. The needs are greater than ever before. Across the nation and in our own community, the East Texas Food Bank and Carter BloodCare needs are near record levels. So to help those in need, we are asking for East Texans to help. During the month of January, join Representative Leo Berman, The City of Tyler and Smith County to help Fill the Banks.
"We could not exist in Smith County without our non-profits which do so much for those who have so little. I'm proud to campaign for two of those non-profits today,” said State Representative Leo Berman. “The East Texas Food Bank insures that no one goes hungry and Carter BloodCare, at some time in all of our lives, could very well spell the difference between life and death for all of us. Let's show that Smith County is the best in the state by filling both banks with the sustenance of life and do so for the glory of God!"
“In challenging times, it is more important than ever to come together as a community to help our neighbors,” said Mayor Barbara Bass. “Tyler has a long history of giving and I feel confident that this effort to Fill the Banks will be successful.”
“Giving blood and donating food are two simple ways to make a direct impact on the community,” said County Judge Joel Baker. “Fill the Banks is making it even easier to do those things. If everyone pitches in just a little, it can add up to a big difference for our community.”
In East Texas there are approximately 428,000 East Texans who are at risk of hunger, and of those 68,000 live in Smith County. Some East Texans, for the first time, are having a difficult time providing food for their families. In 2011, the East Texas Food Bank distributed over 16 million meals, that’s over 19 million pounds of food, to East Texans.
“Hunger is a symptom of poverty and economic stress which can be relieved through the kindness and generosity of our community. We are grateful for our local and state leaders who recognize this and are helping lead the cause to provide help all year long,” said Dennis Cullinane, executive director of the East Texas Food Bank. “We hope East Texans will share their good fortune and Fill the Banks by giving both food and blood.”
Carter BloodCare can typically maintain two to three days of available blood supply due to the sophisticated medical treatment available in area hospitals and medical centers. It is necessary to rely on donors who give blood and give often in order to continue serving area healthcare facilities.
Carter BloodCare needs 1,100 donors a day to meet the requests for blood transfusions. Hospital patients who are receiving lifesaving therapy from blood are only able to receive that treatment because a volunteer came forward and took the time to show they cared by donating blood. Tragedy can happen at any time and it is the community’s responsibility to make sure we are ready.
“The timing of this partnership couldn’t be better,” said Carla Beck, Director of Operations for Carter BloodCare. “At this time of year, the demand is at its peak for both services and Fill The Banks is a program that serves as a reminder of the need here in our community.”
Food donations can be dropped off at any Tyler Fire Department or East Texas Food Bank. To donate blood go to any Carter BloodCare Center or go to www.FillTheBanks.org to find a food or blood drive near you.
Potential donors must be at least 17 years old, 16 with parental consent, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good general health. People who present to give blood should eat a nourishing meal before donating and must bring a photo ID. For more information about donor eligibility, call Carter BloodCare at 1-800-DONATE-4 or visit carterbloodcare.org.