By Vanessa Willis, Staff Writer—

In response to a national blood shortage due to COVID-19, Blood Assurance will host Donor Madness, a promotional event which strives to save lives while giving back to the community.

Donor Madness is only the first part of the “Commit to Give” series, a yearlong campaign that encourages people to donate four times in the course of a year in exchange for various prizes. 

Blood Assurance’s PR and Marketing Director Caitlin Stanley has been involved with every step of planning and executing Donor Madness, including picking the prizes. 

“It is important to understand that giving blood saves three lives, so we just want to give people a reward for doing such a good thing and helping us out and helping local patients in need,” Stanley said. 

Prizes for participating in Donor Madness range in size. For example, anyone who gives blood between March 18 and 25 will receive a ten dollar Starbucks gift card. From March 26 to 29, one donor will be selected each hour to win a $50 giftcard to Academy Sports and Outdoors. From March 30 to April 5, all donors will be entered to win one of fifteen $500 Top Golf gift cards. The event will wrap up on April 5 with free food available to all donors. 

Future events in the Commit to Give series will feature a similar format to Donor Madness, but prizes will vary based on the theme. However, anyone who donates in each portion of the series will be entered to win the grand prize, an all expenses paid vacation to Gulf Shores, Alabama.

According to Stanley, Blood Assurance hopes these prizes attract enough donors to help local hospitals through this current health crisis. 

 “Donating is really critical right now,” Stanley said. “Due to the pandemic, there has been such a drop in donors, but the need is still there,” Stanley said. “The hospitals still need the blood so it is just really important to get the community engaged and understand what it means to donate.” 

This is why Blood Assurance strives to collect 6,500 donations over the course of the event, potentially saving the lives of nearly 20,000 patients right here in Chattanooga.

Anyone interested in saving lives and winning prizes by donating blood can sign up at Future events in the Commit to Give series will take place in June, September, and December. 

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