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LifeShare giving free COVID-19 antibody test with a blood donation, more incentives at Museum of the Gulf Coast

Persons donating blood Saturday have a chance to get a free COVID-19 antibody test and entrance to the Museum of the Gulf Coast.

LifeShare Blood Center’s bus will be at the Museum of the Gulf Coast, 700 Procter St., from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. No appointment is needed.

Those who donate blood receive a free COVID-19 antibody test; free Raising Cane’s gift card for a box combo, redeemable at the Mid-County location while supplies last; free T-shirt; free entrance to the Museum plus one friend and free health and resources information from Beaumont Spindletop Center.

Incentives to donate

Besides the tangible items one can receive with the donation, there are others.

“We are giving free COVID-19 antibody tests to anyone able to donate, and all it entails is we draw an extra (additional) small tube and you will receive the results in two weeks. It’s a great incentive,” said Netty Giglio, account manager with LifeShare.

The test is for some who just want to know if they had COVID-19 in the past because maybe they were sick earlier.

A second reason is to see if they have the antibody, or convalescent plasma, she said.

Convalescent plasma is present in a person who has had a disease and recovered, according to information from LifeShare. Antibodies are formed to fight infection and are directed at a specific infection. For COVID-19, a recovered person now has antibody to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Giglio said generally, summertime is the hardest time to collect blood and there are almost always seriously low blood supplies.

“This is a very important time for people to come and donate,” she said. “You don’t have to make an appointment, you can just walk in and we’ll be there from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.”

Brittany Delagarza, education, tour and volunteer coordinator at the Museum of the Gulf Coast, said there is a detrimental shortage of blood for hospitals due to COVID-19 pandemic and donations have dropped.

“Our goal for this blood drive is to give back to the community,” she said. “We offer free entrance to the Museum of the Gulf Coast to all who donate blood, plus one friend.

“We tell the story of people who have had an impact on Southeast Texas. This blood drive is a chance for members of the community to unite and do something beneficial that will make a difference, not only for their neighbors but help on a national level as well.”

The Museum sees visitors from different states and counties and they leave knowing the stories of talented and innovative people from southeast Texas, she said.

“It’s not just the people in our museum that are part of this story, though,” Delagarza said. “The members of our community are contributing daily to telling the history-making story of our culturally diverse region.”

For more information on the blood drive, call Delagarza at 409-982-7000 or email mogc.educator@gmail.com.