A community blood bank is more than words. It’s an action. One of the things that sets SunCoast Blood Bank (SCBB) apart from other blood banks is our local presence. The backbone of SCBB is our donors who give so generously of themselves, and SCBB believes it is important to give back. SCBB supports fellow non-profits in the communities we serve in a variety of ways. Many times it’s a group effort; sometimes it’s a quiet contribution by a staff member; and all the time, it’s a priority.
SCBB is committed to cultivating the next generation of blood donors through our high school blood drives. This age group represents 25% of the total blood supply donated in our communities. To encourage participation, SCBB instituted the Generation Give Scholarship Program in 2005. Students who donate three times their senior year, or help coordinate blood drives at their school, are eligible to apply. To date, more than $150,000 has been awarded to students from 14 local high schools.
Each year, during the holiday season, SCBB adopts a local non-profit in our community. Employees, as well as our blood donors, donate items from a wish list provided by the organization. Over the years SCBB has collected hundreds of items for Toys for Tots, Manasota Operation Troop Support, the Child Protection Center, and Adopt A Family Manatee.
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in our country. Open heart surgery can require as much as 20 units of blood, or even more. SCBB staff raises money each year for the American Heart Association Heart Walk. CEO Scott Bush also serves on the local walk, executive planning committee.
Unused end of the roll of arm wraps would go to waste at SunCoast Blood Bank until a new purpose came to mind: tiny legs of injured animals and birds! Lee Fox, Executive Director of Save Our Seabirds received a donation of a colorful and useful inventory of wraps for our little friends in recovery at the Save Our Seabirds' hospital. Other recipients of donated Co-ban wraps: Animal Rescue Coalition, The Wildlife Center of Venice and Majical Miniatures.
SunCoast Blood Bank employees also work as a group to give back to the community. Projects this year have included:
- Staff knitting hats and collecting toiletries and other necessities for Ressurection House
- Collecting childrens' books for distriubtion at "Christmas in August", a back to school event sponsored by the Bradenton Kiwanis Club to serve low income families in helping prepare their children for the upcoming school year
- Meeting regularly to pick up trash and beautify a section of Orange Ave adopted by the blood bank
SCBB staff supports a variety of causes and celebrations, including: