The beginning of 2014 started off with an amazing community partnership between the Tyler Carter BloodCare Donor Center and Town Square Media, a group of radio stations in East Texas. From January 6-11, Hot 107.3, KNUE 101.5, Mix 93.1 and Classic Rock 96.1 all donated airtime for one week to promote blood drives on the air. After a slow holiday season, blood donations are usually down. But these radio stations linked arms and encouraged people in the community to roll up their sleeves and give to those in need.
This blood drive, appropriately named Call to Arms, has been an annual event in the East Texas region. Bob Mauldin, Manager of Regional Locations for the East Texas Center of Carter Blood Care, says, “The Call to Arms drive has taken place for the past 20 years and initially started as a weeklong partnership with KNUE 101.5. It has grown over the years to include three more radio stations and always has a great turnout for the time of year.” These four radio stations together demonstrate an incredible partnership that is able to reach a diverse population of listeners.
For one week, each radio station promoted blood drives on the air and allowed us to call in each hour from the drive locations to tell listeners where we were and where they could donate. The radio stations helped raise awareness of the need for donating blood as well as promoting the actual drives. The radio stations also ran promotions leading up to the drive for one week. Donors received a t-shirt that was designed for the Call To Arms drive. Additionally, donors were entered into a drawing to receive a PlayStation 4 game console that the radio stations collaboratively donated.
Each year, approximately 300 donors come out to present. The drive is strategically timed to recover from shortages during the holidays. This year, approximately 250 donors came out and we were able to collect 205 units of blood in one week. We are very proud of the turnout especially during the less than normal temperatures Texas was facing during this time.
Mauldin states: “Carter BloodCare wants to express their gratitude to the radio stations for their commitment and donation of airtime each year. A big thank you also goes to the donors who came out to present in the midst of bad weather.” The Call to Arms blood drive shows that great things can happen together!