By Mason W. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald

HARKER HEIGHTS - ERA Colonial Real Estate conducted its third annual blood drive with Scott & White on Friday and wants to keep the tradition growing.

"A lot of people think it is a sacrifice, but it is really not," ERA Colonial sales associate Lisa Truitt said. "Donating is the opportunity to contribute to the community."

When people donate to Scott & White, the blood stays with the hospital that is the closest major trauma facility, Truitt said. Anytime someone is medevaced in the area, donors could be helping that person.

ERA collected some snacks from contributing sponsors such as The Cookie Addition, Jason's Deli, and Chick-fil-A, Truitt said. Those items, along with side dishes and beverages from the ERA staff, provided a meal for people who donated blood during their lunch hour, she added.

Truitt said that while ERA does get some name recognition for hosting the blood drive, that is not why it hosted the event.

"We do it for the self-satisfaction and support," Truitt said. "You can't help but walk away and feel good about yourself."

Businesses such as ERA that partner with Scott & White for blood drives make up about 50 percent of the blood donations that Scott & White receives, said Emily Brown, a Scott & White Blood Center donor recruiter.

The hospital receives many blood donations after a tragedy, but the businesses that schedule blood drives help keep the hospital in supply of blood, Brown said.

"They are the folks that help prevent shortages," Brown said.

For Truitt, who started and organizes the blood drives at ERA, the need to donate is based on personal experience, she said.

Truitt was at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center when she needed blood during an operation, she said. She has donated ever since.

By 1:30 p.m., more than 20 people had donated blood during the ERA drive. Truitt said she hopes more people come out next year.

"This was very simple," Truitt said. "I would almost challenge all the other businesses to find a cause and make it their mission to support that cause. This is our way of giving back and saying thank you."

Contact Mason W. Canales at or (254) 501-7554. Follow him on Twitter at KDHheights.

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