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Events & News, Giving Blood

Celebrating Our Carter BloodCare Blood Collectors

Each year, approximately 12.6 million units of whole blood are donated in the United States. Without the hard work of phlebotomists, or blood collectors, it would be impossible for hospitals to receive blood for the patients and people who need it. September 7th marks the beginning of the tenth annual Blood Collectors Week. At Carter BloodCare, we want to show our phlebotomists how much they mean to our organization, our donors, and the thousands of recipients who benefit from their hard work across North, Central and East Texas.

So what is it that makes Carter BloodCare phlebotomists so great? Melanie Sexton, our Education Coordinator in North Texas, believes that the training our blood collectors receive provides them with the confidence to perform such an important task and make each donation fun, to create lifelong donors. Each Carter BloodCare phlebotomist goes through 10 weeks of training before they begin working in the field. Beginning with the basics, phlebotomists learn our computer systems, quality control, and how to perform our medical history screenings. Each donor has to go through a medical screening that includes a few intimate questions, and we make sure each blood collector is able to confidently discuss these questions in a way that makes our donors feel comfortable.

After basic training comes phlebotomist training. During this nine-week, specialized program, blood collectors hired for both mobile drives and donor centers practice collecting blood in the classroom until they are ready to go out into the field under the supervision of an instructor. Once the instructor believes they are proficient, they are released from training to begin their work as an official Carter BloodCare phlebotomist.

Our phlebotomists aren’t just drawing blood for a lab test; they are collecting living cells that will change someone’s life. Each of our phlebotomists serves as the face of Carter BloodCare, along with helping us create dedicated donors. Each Carter BloodCare phlebotomist makes every donation fun and unique. Whether it is singing their own parody of “Stayin’ Alive,” or finding ways to entertain donors, our blood collectors know that each time a donor has a good experience with us, they will want to come back and bring their family or friends.

Melanie Sexton has been with Carter BloodCare for 15 years and says her favorite thing about being one of our phlebotomists is watching people discover new strengths they didn’t know they had. “A lot of people think they can’t do this job but once they begin training they realize it is more about customer service and cultivating relationships,” says Sexton. “We have people coming in all the time curious about what we do, and they end up applying because they love the work and the community we have.”

There are many ways to show your Carter BloodCare phlebotomists your appreciation this Blood Collectors Week. You can pay it forward and bring a friend with you to donate so he or she can see what makes Carter BloodCare so great. Let your blood collector know about your first time donating with Carter BloodCare and what that phlebotomist did to help make your experience so special. No matter how you show your thanks, nothing makes Carter BloodCare phlebotomists happier than seeing our donors roll up their sleeves to give.

Carter BloodCare has approximately 400 certified phlebotomists working in the DFW metroplex alone. Each of them comes from a different background – from welding to veterinary work – but every blood collector helps Carter BloodCare provide a valuable, lifesaving resource to North, Central and East Texas. This week, take time to roll up your sleeves and reach out your arms to thank our Carter BloodCare blood collectors for making each blood donation a fun and special experience.

Fun Stuff, Health

Savor the Benefits of Fall Flavors

Fresh fruits and vegetables are always in season, but there’s nothing that beats the amazing flavors and possibilities of fresh, fall produce. There’s just something about fall flavors that makes everyone hungry! With all the great produce in season this time of year, it’s great to know the good things these foods do for our bodies.

Pumpkins take center stage in the fall for their versatility in the kitchen. Starting from the inside out, roasting pumpkin seeds with a little olive oil and a pinch of your favorite spice is great way to make a fall-friendly snack packed with heart healthy magnesium, healthy fats, and fibers. The meat of the pumpkin is low in calories, and provides your body with essential dietary fibers, calcium, potassium, B vitamins, and more than 200 percent of the recommended daily vitamin A. All this, plus it makes a great filling for your holiday pies!

Butternut squash and spaghetti squash are a few other delicious fall delights that are easy to cook and bring amazing flavor to any dish. Butternut squash is the most versatile and healthy of the bunch. This flavorful squash is famous for making delicious soups, and each spoonful gives your body fiber, five different B vitamins, carotenoids, and antioxidants. Spaghetti squash is a favorite low-carb substitution for pasta. This stringy veggie is loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C and omega fatty acids to satisfy any diet and palate.

Even though you might not have liked them as a kid, Brussels sprouts are making a comeback as a delicious and healthy fall favorite. This super food can taste amazing when roasted or sautéed, and they’re great for strong bones and a healthy heart. Loaded with vitamin K, calcium, potassium, B vitamins, manganese, iron and more, it is time to give this little green vegetable another try.

For the sweeter side of fall, bite into a crisp, fresh apple. Whether piled into a pie or enjoyed on its own, this fruit has plenty of vitamin C, antioxidants and fiber, without boasting a lot of sugar. Another fall fruit loaded with fiber and vitamin C is the pear. Pears are naturally sweet and make a delicious dessert when poached or baked with honey. Pears are also high in potassium for a healthy heart, muscles and nerves. If your sweet tooth still isn’t satisfied, reach for some fresh pomegranates. Packed with antioxidants, pomegranates help stabilize free radicals in the body and are delicious when sprinkled onto a salad or enjoyed as a refreshing juice.

From the first bite of a crisp apple to that last piece of pumpkin pie, fall is one of the tastiest seasons of the year. With all the added benefits fall produce provides, it’s even easier to enjoy all the flavors of the season.

About Life, Fun Stuff,

Keeping Up with the Latest Classroom Trends

With school starting up for most students this month, we thought we’d give you an easy, go-to guide for the hottest trends in the classroom this fall. Whether it’s fashion, school supplies, or locker swag, we’ve got what you need to start your year right.

Large, floral prints are in, according to Seventeen. In fact, most trends this season are reminiscent of the ‘80s and early ‘90s, with baggy sweaters, pencil skirts, plaid flannels and flashy leggings making a comeback. Quirky graphic prints are taking the fashion world by storm, too, enabling students of every age to wear their interests, from pizza to puzzles to Pac-Man, literally on their sleeves (or legs!).

School Supplies
As school budgets are being cut, more and more of the items used daily in the classroom are becoming the responsibility of students and their parents to supply. Items that were once taken for granted in the classroom are now hot commodities between students, such as staplers, pencil sharpeners and hole-punchers. Luckily, office supply companies have swooped in with cute, colorful, and space-saving solutions to this problem. Mini staplers come in an array of colors, and students can even get colored staples to match! Hole-punchers now come in a thin, sleek design that fits easily into a three-ring binder, again in a variety of colors and only a few dollars. Students can equip their desks with style, by color-coordinating their supplies, or mixing it up, and be the envy of their classmates.

Locker Swag
The locker is often a student’s first chance to personalize a little piece of the world outside their bedroom. Colorful shelves, magnetic decorations, mirrors, and organizers only scratch the surface of the trends for lockers now. If your school allows you to decorate the interior of your locker, a great, affordable way to bring a pop of color or design without much work is to use colorful or patterned book covers, which are easy to cut to the right shape and size and have a mild adhesive on the back that will make them easy to peel off at the end of the school year.

About Life,, Testimonials & Stories

Deer Corn: An Unexpected Tool to Help Save Lives


Every one of the people who donate at Carter BloodCare play a huge role in saving lives in the community around them. Often, though, our donors get involved above and beyond blood donation, whether through volunteering, coordinating blood drives, or in the case of Brenda Anthony, a faithful donor from Granbury, TX, using their unique knowledge and skills to make a big difference.

Brenda Anthony is a life long blood donor; she has donated an incredible 56 gallons and counting! Brenda has always been a platelet donor, but she has become even more passionate about blood donation because she knows first hand how important blood donations are to patients. Brenda’s son is a leukemia survivor, and his experience reaffirmed her commitment to donate as often as she could to help patients like him have the resources necessary for their treatments. She was inspired all the more by the people at Carter BloodCare and their friendly and professional demeanor. She also got into the nonprofit business of sewing caps and other cancer comfort items for cancer patients, including creating reusable heat packs filled with deer corn for them to hold and keep their hands warm during treatments. The deer corn is an ideal stuffing for the packs because it can be heated and reheated countless times, and remains warm for a long time.

One day, a woman who worked at the cancer center asked Brenda if she would be able to make the deer corn packs for Carter BloodCare’s blood donation centers. The disposable heating packs that the centers had been using were an extremely costly supply, but they are necessary for the comfort and donation process for many donors. Brenda gladly agreed to create packs that could be easily stored, packaged, heated, repackaged, and reheated in a sanitary way from the deer corn and a special kind of fabric. 100 of the packs took her about 8 hours to sew.

Brenda says that she enjoys sewing, and she likes that she can make things that can’t always be bought somewhere. Her story can serve as inspiration to any donors who would like to give back more, because she found a way to use her hobby to help people. Thanks to Brenda, countless patients and donors have been comforted through her sewing, Carter BloodCare has the opportunity to save lives more efficiently, and hundreds of lives have been saved by her blood donations.

About Life,

Back-To-School Success

Ah, the smell of fresh pencil shavings and new notebooks! Back-To-School season is upon us, and while that sentence may cause some students to cringe, there’s a lot to look forward to this upcoming school year. Back-To-School season is great for catching up with old friends, making new friends, and having an excuse to go shopping!


Texas  allows a tax-free weekend at the beginning of every school year to offer people relief from the cost of school supplies and clothing. Many retailers use the annual event as an opportunity to host huge sales on back-to-school items, adding even more to the savings! This year, tax-free weekend takes place on August 8-10, so save bigger purchases for that weekend.


In addition to shopping the hottest back-to-school sales, here’s a few ways to maximize your school year:

Plan Ahead. Plan outfits the night before and map out class schedules or locker locations ahead of time to avoid tardiness. You may even consider attending a school orientation. Many school orientations showcase new technology and resources for students that can make a big difference in  classroom performance.

Eat Healthy Snacks. We’ve all seen the countless commercials advocating the importance of a healthy breakfast for keeping our minds and bodies sharp. Stocking up on small, healthy “grab-and-go” snacks such as fruit, string cheese, portable yogurt and granola bars will help guard against skipping meals altogether in the morning rush.


If you use one or more of these simple tips, you’ll be setting yourself up to make this school year a breeze.

About Life, Fun Stuff

Those Su-hu-mmer Ni-hiiiights!

As we reach the second half of the summer, finding cool, indoor activities to do while we nurse our sunburns and dry our swimsuits begins to sound very appealing. What better, more affordable way to kill some time on a long afternoon than to watch some favorite summer classic movies you’d all but forgotten about? Beyond a Disney marathon, here are a few timeless gems you may have forgotten you love:

For Families:
The Goonies
Cool Runnings
The Neverending Story
The Princess Bride
The Parent Trap
The Labyrinth
Bend It Like Beckham
The Three Amingos!
She’s The Man
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Camp Nowhere
Ella Enchanted
The Newsies
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Napoleon Dynamite
The Wizard of Oz
Pirates of the Carribbean
Pink Panther (Old or new)
Galaxy Quest
The Odd Couple

For Teens & Adults:
The Breakfast Club
16 Candles
Jurassic Park
Rocky, Rocky II, III, IV, V, & Rocky Balboa
You’ve Got Mail
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Ferris Bueller’s Day off
The Blues Brothers
Mrs. Doubtfire

So grab some popcorn and a popsicle, and enjoy a cool blast from the past- you may discover a new all-time favorite!

About Life, Events & News, Giving Blood

Check Out Our New Hispanic TV Campaign

The Hispanic community is growing and quickly become the majority population throughout the state of Texas. In order to better target this growing demographic, get ready for a campaign targeted specifically to the Hispanic community! Check out our new Spanish commercials on our YouTube channel.

In addition to launching our new Hispanic campaign, Univision is hosting a blood drive this weekend at Town East Mall in Mesquite, TX.  Choose a time below to schedule an appointment or visit our donor portal to search for other community blood drives or donor centers in your area.

Drive times:

7/18:      12:00pm-6:00pm
7/19:      10:00am-6:00pm
7/20:      12:00pm-6:00pm

Giving Blood,

Common Myths about Blood Donation: Pt 2

This week we’re continuing our review of common myths about blood donation and addressing a few more interesting questions we’ve come across.


Myth: Donation takes a long time; I need to set aside half my day to donate blood

Fact: The actual donation portion of a whole blood donation only takes 5 to 10 minutes. Overall, a whole blood donation takes under an hour from start to finish. While platelet, plasma and double red blood cell donations take longer than a whole blood donation, the whole process only takes about 2 hours. Keep the process swift by setting an appointment ahead of time to ensure there is a minimal wait.


Myth: I can’t donate if I’ve just been to the dentist

Fact: It is perfectly acceptable to donate blood after seeing the dentist as long as you only underwent a standard procedure such as a cleaning. If an infection was present, wait until you complete your antibiotics before you donate again. Call your local Carter BloodCare donation center to learn the most up-to-date eligibility requirements regarding oral surgeries.


Myth: Blood donation will cause me to gain weight

Fact: Blood donation does not cause weight gain. In fact, the process your body undergoes to replace the blood or plasma that you donate actually burns additional calories. While this calorie burn is not significant or frequent enough to actually cause weight loss, it certainly does not cause any weight gain, either.


Myth: I am not eligible to donate blood if I am taking birth control or fertility treatments.

Fact: You are eligible to donate if you are taking birth control or fertility pills. However, if you are pregnant or recently gave birth, you must wait until 6 weeks after the “Birthday” to donate blood. If you still want to do your part in your community during that time, consider becoming a volunteer at one of our mobile drives or donor centers.


For any other blood donation myth inquires, please call Carter BloodCare at 1-888-480-8200 or Metro 817-412-5603.

Fun Stuff,

Top 10 Ways to Enhance Your S’more Experience


Independence day is coming fast, and you know what that means! People all over the state will be firing up their grills and settling into their lawn chairs to watch those commemorative fireworks. So as long as you’re out barbecuing those burgers, brats and veggies, why not put a little extra pizzazz in that summer classic, the S’More? Here are ten easy ways to make your barbecue the best on the block:

  1. Assemble the whole S’Mores without roasting your mallow, then wrap them in foil wrap and place them on the grill or even in the coals like a baked potato for about 4-6 minutes. Pull them out with tongs and unwrap with care- the chocolate will be melted and the marshmallow will roast evenly- even the crackers will be toasted!
  2. Add some texture- instead of a plain chocolate bar, try different types of candy bars with puffed rice in them for extra fun crunch
  3. Gourmet chocolates- now you can get all kinds of flavored chocolates at your local grocery stores, so dress up this blue-collar dessert with some classy cabernet chocolate, or cinnamon spiced chocolate.
  4. Add fruit- what goes better with chocolate, caramel and graham crackers than bananas? Simply slice them thin and put them between the chocolate and the marshmallow.
  5. Add peanut butter- really any nut spread will take this dessert to the next level!
  6. Double up- when possible, use 2 skewers or a 2-pronged skewer to keep your mallow from falling off
  7. Hot day? If your chocolate bars melt, snip off the corner and squeeze it onto your cracker like toothpaste
  8. Canned frosting- spread it on the cracker beneath or instead of the chocolate bar. Experiment with flavors! Ever had a strawberry s’more?
  9. Bacon- grill off strips of crispy bacon to sandwich into the rest of your s’more
  10.  Salty sweet- If you like salted caramel, layer a few plain potato chips into your S’More- or if that’s too adventurous for you, just sprinkle a touch of salt onto the chocolate before you add your marshmallows.

And if you don’t have a grill, no problem! Simply line the bottom crackers, chocolate and marshmallows on a cookie sheet and place them in an oven set to 350° on BROIL for 3-5 minutes, or until the mallow is as dark as you like it. Then carefully place the tops on and enjoy your indoor S’Mores!