Nonprofit partners get on a roll to serve the community with revamped bus

Carter BloodCare and Wood County Electric Cooperative (WCEC) celebrate the rollout of Carter BloodCare’s newest blood collection bus this month, made possible by a partnership between the two regional nonprofits.

The custom 40-foot bus was initially purchased by WCEC in 2018 to serve as a mobile office. It provided a convenient, economical solution for WCEC members to pay bills and reload pre-paid electricity cards, while eliminating the need for fixed-site offices.

Coming out of the pandemic, however, WCEC reevaluated the mobile service. Technology improvements allowed members to remotely pay and handle transactions online and by phone, reducing the need for in-person transactions.

At the same time, pandemic-related supply chain issues meant a significant delay in acquiring a new bus for Carter BloodCare’s fleet. With that, WCEC’s vehicle became a realistic, viable option.

With assistance from nonprofit blood center Blood Assurance in Tennessee, the vehicle was outfitted as a three-bed mobile blood collection facility and completed in January 2023.

Clinton McCoy, Carter BloodCare’s Director of Mobile Donor Recruitment and Regional Operations, said, “You have to be creative and willing to step out of the box, and build new relationships. WCEC offered us a very favorable price, which was the deciding factor that allowed us to take on this project, and we are grateful.”

Appropriately, the mobile unit’s first blood drive is being hosted by WCEC in East Texas. Trey Teaff, General Manager and CEO at WCEC, said, “We have always realized the critical life-sustaining role Carter BloodCare brings to our communities. We have supported them for many years by hosting blood drives. When we reached out to them, it just seemed like a natural fit. We could not be more pleased that this worked out for them and us, and it’s really special that the first day of service is back here at the co-op.”

Donate to make a lifesaving difference for neighbors in need. Make an appointment at a Carter BloodCare donor center or mobile blood drive near you, or call 800-366-2834 today.

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