Tyler, TX

The Empowerment Community Development Corporation and the Texas African American Museum partnered with ET Red Cross

Tour Tyler Texas

Clarence Edmond Shackelford aka "Shabba" and aka "M1Y", is a publicist, and the founder of Tour Tyler Texas and also the Texas African American Museum both programs are under the auspices of the Empowerment Community Development Corporation, which is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit. - Written by, Rena Witherspoon, Regional Sickle Cell Account Manager, Biomedical Services, American Red Cross, North Texas Region

The Empowerment Community Development Corporation/Texas African American Museum is proud to partner with East Texas American Red Cross.

On behalf of the American Red Cross in collaboration with the Empowerment Community Development Corporation and Texas African American Museum it gives me extreme pleasure to thank Greater East Texas Black Nurses for your partnership with our Sickle Cell Initiative and hosting the blood drive on Saturday, January 21, 2023.

#tourtylertexas #TexasAfricanAmericanMuseum #empowermentcommunitydevelopmentcorporation The Empowerment Community Development Corporation/TePhoto byClarence Edmond Shackelford

Because of your efforts 29 New Life Community Baptist Church and Tyler community members walked through the doors, opened their hearts and rolled up their sleeves to give their lifesaving blood. We walked away with a total of 27 units of blood.

16 of the individuals who came were FIRST TIME Red Cross DONORS who I have NO doubt would NOT have donated without this blood drive. In total the lifesaving impact is that up to 81 potential lives will be saved!

Every blood donation is important and maintaining a diverse blood supply continues to be a priority to the American Red Cross because of its importance to patients. African American blood donors may have the unique ability to help patients with sickle cell disease. Thus, there is an ongoing national initiative to increase this donor base.

The cornerstone of this initiative is the education component. Simply put we seek to educate the community to understand how and why people of African descent blood is needed for patients with sickle cell disease. In the initiative’s first year, in Texas the number of first-time African American blood donors who gave with the Red Cross increased by 75%. We’re excited to build on this momentum with partner like you, who are critical to building trust, sharing information and working together to engage new donors and help save lives.

Thank you for emphasizing the reason why African American donors are needed. You might be interested to know that we collected a total of 21 units from individuals of African descent. That’s 77.8%. Our minimum target is 40%!!!

I am especially grateful for Ms. Pauline Barnes this time around. She graciously worked to secure a new site for us AND brought the Greater East Texas Black Nurses on board to host this blood drive and volunteer the day of. As a result, a great portion of the donors were new and a result of her efforts. As always, Ebby was there day of to support.


Rena Witherspoon

Regional Sickle Cell Account Manager

Biomedical Services

American Red Cross, North Texas Region

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I have been a community publicist in East Texas since 1985 in this role I have covered 10's of thousands of special events. I am also the founder of the founder Tour Tyler Texas and the Texas African American Museum

Tyler, TX

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