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Boots & Badges: How a local rivalry is saving lives

Blood donation truck
Posted at 5:10 PM, Jul 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-18 19:55:15-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coastal Bend Blood Center is adding a little fun to their donation sites this summer with some friendly competition. Voting for the Coastal Bend Blood Center’s Boots and Badges drive begins Sunday. Donors are faced with the difficult decision of casting a vote for the local fire or police departments.

“There’s times when we have the fire department and the police department in here at the same time, so when other donors are on the bus and they’re not part of it… sometimes they’re like I don’t know which one to choose,” says Jennifer Martinez, a donor coordinator.

Blood donation trucks for the competition will be spread throughout the Coastal Bend for the next 12 days. The cops and firefighters love the competitive nature of the event, but it isn’t their only source of motivation.

“Once you find out exactly what happens to that blood and it goes out there to your community and surrounding areas… it’s a good feeling,” says Shawn Gonzales, a paramedic for Corpus Christi Fire Department.

The Coastal Bend Blood Center typically receives less donations during the summer. Boots and Badges is held July of every year to help the community meet its needs.

“We really need it on a daily basis, every day, every type of blood donation we need,” says Martinez.

Incentives like a pair of Hooks tickets and free t-shirts are offered to donors as well. The winner gets to take a coveted trophy home with them for the year and earns a year’s worth of bragging rights.

The schedule for the donation centers can be found at the Coastal Bend Blood Center's website.