Memorial Blood Centers

How has the partnership between Memorial Blood Centers and CenterPoint Energy helped your program achieve results? What impact does our volunteerism have on your work?

One out of three people will need blood in their lifetime. Cancer patients, accident victims and premature newborns all depend on a stable supply of blood. Each year, CenterPoint Energy partners with Memorial Blood Centers to host blood drives at its Twin Cities metro office locations. Hosting drives at our offices makes blood donation easy and convenient for employees. As Minnesota’s largest independent, nonprofit community blood center, nearly half of the blood needed for more than 30 hospital partners in Minnesota and western Wisconsin is collected at mobile blood drives hosted by CenterPoint Energy and other community partners.

CenterPoint Energy is one of Memorial Blood Centers’ top corporate blood drive partners, consistently hosting 19 blood drives a year from the downtown Minneapolis headquarters and three additional locations in the metropolitan area. Each year, about 140 employees donate 300 or more units of life-saving blood.

Please share a story or beneficiary testimonial that showcases how the program works and/or what positive effect it has had.

In addition to the on-site blood drives at CenterPoint Energy’s offices, Memorial Blood Centers is also a beneficiary of generous financial support through the CenterPoint Energy GIVE Grant Program. Two blood donors in particular — Andrew Rockwell and Gene Coppins — are frequent platelet donors, each volunteering more than 40 hours a year donating blood. Since 2012, $3,000 has been awarded to Memorial Blood Centers in recognition of their service.


Memorial Blood Centers volunteers

Memorial Blood Centers volunteers


Sickle Cell Donor Program FamilyTernesha Burroughs was nearly three months pregnant when she learned both she and her husband, James, carry the sickle cell trait. The discovery was scary for the soon-to-be first-time parents, who quickly learned their daughter had a 25 percent chance of being born with sickle cell disease—a chronic red blood cell disorder that impacts one in 500 African-American newborns in the United States.

In May 2012, James and Ternesha welcomed Teresa—born three months prematurely and weighing only one pound 13 ounces. Within days of being born, Teresa received a blood transfusion due to her low iron and platelet counts, and was diagnosed with sickle cell disease.

The lifelong disease produces crescent-shaped red blood cells that can clog blood vessels and reduce oxygen flow, triggering a sickle cell crisis. When a crisis occurs, it causes excruciating pain. Often times, only blood transfusions can relieve the agony and complications.

“Many kids and adults living with sickle cell disease need regular blood transfusions,” said Ternesha. As parents, James and Ternesha wish they could donate blood for their young daughter, but can't because they carry the sickle cell trait—a trait one in 10 African-Americans in the United States carries.

Not being able to donate blood motivates Ternesha and James to advocate for others to give, ensuring blood is always available for those in need.

“We, the African-American community, should be donating blood to help ease the pain for those living with the disease,” said James. “We are the difference those living with the disease need.”

“I would like the African-American community to become blood donors so we can keep those struggling with sickle cell disease alive and healthy.” —Ternesha Burroughs, mother of Teresa

Learn more about Memorial Blood Centers’ Sickle Cell Donor Program and how you can help ease the pain for those living with sickle cell disease.