First Annual Larry Luntz KRV Drive

JoAnne and Larry Luntz were honored at our Kern River Valley appreciation evening on October 16, 2014

JoAnne and Larry Luntz were honored for their years of service at our Kern River Valley appreciation evening on October 16, 2014.

The regular Kern River Valley Community Blood drive on February 10 from noon to 6 at the First Baptist Church in Lake Isabella has been designated the first annual Larry Luntz Memorial Blood Drive.  Larry Luntz died on December 31, 2014.  He was a treasured friend of the blood bank, and our long time blood drive volunteer in the Kern River Valley along with his wife, JoAnne.  “We were so sorry to lose Larry, but know his legacy will continue with this annual tribute drive. Larry was very motivated to encourage others to donate blood, and to see that our drives in the Kern River Valley were a success for years and years”, said Christina Scrivner, Houchin’s Account Manager for eastern Kern County.

We hope to see all our regular donors turn out for this community drive, not only to impact patient lives,  but to honor Larry’s longstanding service to blood banking in the Kern River Valley.

Resolve to Get Fit and Save Lives

Alma checks Justin's blood pressure.

Alma checks Justin’s blood pressure.

Donating blood can be an ongoing part of a healthy lifestyle.  Not only do the blood products save lives every day in hospitals county wide, but volunteer blood donors get a “mini physical” each time they donate.  From the blood pressure check to the finger stick to the cholesterol results, each of these tests helps ensure a healthy person is donating for others.

To encourage blood donation during National Blood Donor Month, Kern Family Health Care is offering a great, health-enhancing donor prize as we Resolve to Get Fit and Save Lives together in January 2015.  Throughout the month, all donors can enter to win a Wii U Family Fit,  2 player bundle which includes the console, balance board, game software and controllers, PLUS a new TV!

Kern Family LogoAccording to CEO Doug Hayward: “Kern Family Health Care recognizes the importance of donating blood.  As the largest health plan in Kern County, we know that our members rely on blood products being available when they are needed.  We are proud to partner with Houchin Community Blood Bank to promote blood donations to ensure an adequate supply of blood and blood products in our community.”

Kern Family Health Care is dedicated to improving the health status of its members through an integrated managed health care delivery system. We are pleased to join with the organization to celebrate our donors with this great month-long prize drawing, which will provide a new way to increased health for one lucky donor.

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EAKC January Prize

Night on the Town photoHow about a vacation without leaving home?  That’s what the EAKC Monthly Drawing prize is for January. Thanks to all our friends at the Executives’ Association of Kern County, a monthly prize will be awarded to one lucky blood donor drawn from all donors each month.  January’s prize is a Night on the Town, sponsored by Cathi Guerrero, Executive Director of EAKC, and EAKC’s official hotel, the Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center. The prize includes a one night stay at the Marriott with a welcome champagne basket, and dinner for two at The Nines! Just think, you could couple this with a concert at the Rabobank or Fox, a film at the Maya, or a First Friday downtown – whatever you wish to make a truly memorable staycation.

The NinesCathi Guerrero has been the Executive Director of the 75 member EAKC since 1987. She is the principal of Black & Sterling Management, which also manages the Junior League Building in downtown Bakersfield. Cathi wanted to personally kick-off another year of the EAKC Monthly Drawing with her own contribution. She is just thrilled that member businesses sponsored all twelve months of the 30/30 blood donor drawing in just a matter of weeks in 2014 and now for 2015.

The Bakersfield Marriott, has helped the blood bank with many drives and promotions. “The Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center applauds all Houchin’s hard work and dedication. We are proud to support their efforts and value their “Spirit to Serve” our community,” says Vanessa Arellano Emo, Director of Sales.

Information about all the prizes in EAKC’s monthly drawing will be unveiled all year.

 

A Resolution We Love: 4 in 2015

Erica and VictoriaJanuary is a great month to resolve to give blood four times during 2015. Once in the winter, twice in the summer, and one other time convenient to you, would really help us maintain the right type of blood products for the patients we serve all year. Can we count on you?

Because January is a challenging time of year for blood donation, it has been celebrated as National Blood Donor Month since 1970, to recognize the importance of giving blood and platelets while honoring those who roll up a sleeve to help patients in need. Blood is traditionally in short supply during the winter season for a number of reasons: regular donors are hit by illnesses, people are traveling or on vacation, and in many parts of the country and our own mountain communities bad weather can keep people from venturing out even to donate blood. When high schools are not in session 20% of the nation’s donors are not where they can be easily reached. January in particular, is a difficult month for blood centers like ours to collect donations.

blood donation yearDonors of all types are needed, especially those with O-, A-, and O+ blood. With a shelf life of only 42 days, red blood cells must be constantly replenished to maintain an adequate supply for patients. Since platelets only last 5 days on the shelf, we can never take a vacation from collecting those from any blood type.

All month long donors at the blood bank and on mobile drives will receive a free Rusty’s Pizza coupon for an individual cheese or pepperoni pizza. Reasons to Give t-shirts will also be available while supplies last.

 

 

December Donors: The Kimm Family

GeAnn, Glenn, Gardner, and Gregory Kimm - 2014

GeAnn, Glenn, Gardner, and Gregory Kimm – 2014

Many, many of our blood donors remember the late George Kimm, our long-time Tuesday morning canteen volunteer at the Truxtun Donor Center.  Lots of donors came in on Tuesdays just to chat with George and be greeted by his smile. He was also our leading blood donor for years. Donors still ask about his family, so we are featuring his children as our December blood donors.

His three sons Gregory, Gardner and Glenn, and daughter GeAnn, came in together the day after Thanksgiving to donate and visit with us in the canteen named in honor of George.  This is the second year they have come in the day after Thanksgiving as a family to donate, although they say it is not a tradition.

Gregory, Gardner, Glenn, and GeAnn Kimm in 2013

Gregory, Gardner, Glenn and GeAnn Kimm – 2013

Like their father, the Kimm siblings are a very unassuming group. The sons all live out of town, and shared that the snacks are not as good at their home blood banks.  GeAnn is a regular at some of our mobile drives and a three gallon club member.

We always appreciate seeing the Kimms, as it brings back great memories of our years with George. It was good to visit with them in the George Kimm, Jr. Canteen and recall how George always had the donuts and the snack trays well filled.

2014 Winter Holiday Hours

HappyHolidaysDuring the 2014 winter holidays there will be some changes to hours as follows:

On Friday, December 19 we will have our annual staff Christmas Party to recognize the hard work of our staff all year.  We will close at 4 pm at both locations so our manufacturing staff members who process the blood products into the evening will be able to attend.

On Wednesday, December 24, we will have special Christmas Eve hours at both donor centers of 7 am to 1 pm. We will be closed on Christmas Day.

happy new yearOn Wednesday, December 31, we will have special New Year’s Eve hours at both donor centers of 7 am to 1 pm. We will be closed on New Year’s Day.

Trima appointments will be condensed as well on both Christmas and New Year’s Eves.

We hope donors will fit us into busy schedules on the days before and after each holiday so we can stay stocked.  The need for blood products never takes a holiday.  We appreciate your support and wish you a happy holiday season!

 

Gift Tribute at Bolthouse

Wondering what to get that difficult to buy for friend, loved one or family member this holiday season? Consider giving a lasting gift in our Path of Life at the entrance to the new Bolthouse Donor Center in the Seven Oaks Business Park.

Bricks can be inscribed in so many ways to recognize your own or another family, a special individual, or as a memorial. This is a truly meaningful holiday gift which can be enjoyed into the future. Brick sponsorships start at only $150 for one 4×8 inch brick. Brick configurations as large as 24×24 inches are available.

Veterans brickThe commemorative Path of Life is located at the entrance to Houchin Community Blood Bank’s stunning and award-winning new consolidated complex and blood drawing center. It is surrounded by beautiful landscaping and fountains, and enjoyed by each person entering the new Bolthouse Donor Center. What better place to commemorate special lives than this place where lifesaving blood products are collected, processed and distributed?

Larger gift opportunities are also available, such as tiles on our Friends of Houchin Wall and benches in our lovely gardens. To order a brick or tile, or to learn more about how your 100% tax-deductible gift can be permanently incorporated into our new facility, call Pam Hornbuckle at 661-332-5677.

 

KBAK Blood Drive Returns

MilesThe KBAK/KBFX Eyewitness News Winter Blood Drive is back better than ever with five days of $500 prizes as listed below. This drive is a huge hit with donors who like the idea of winning a nice prize while saving lives.

Monday, December 8

  • Bakersfield College, $500 Visa gift card

Tuesday, December 9

  • The Law Office of Young and Nichols, $500 to Latham and Sheets Jeweler

Wednesday, December 10

  • Dignity Health/Mercy & Memorial Hospitals, $500 Visa gift card

Thursday, December 11

  • Reliable Moving and Storage, $500 Visa gift card

Friday, December 12

  • Interim Health Care, $500 Visa gift card

KBAKWe truly appreciate the support of the television station and these fine sponsors who are committed to helping us insure a steady blood supply this holiday season. Good luck to all our donors this week and thanks to our terrific sponsors.  We hope you will support them for their community service.

16 Days of Giving is Back

shutterstock_117009517 - Christmas Shopping imageThe holidays are a really tough time to collect enough blood, platelets and plasma to support all the patients who need us, so we focus on this difficult set of 16 days with special prize drawings to be held on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.

This year we have two $500 Visa gift cards you may want to use at the fantastic new Outlets at Tejon as our 16 Days of Giving prize thanks to two attorneys at Klein DeNatale Goldner Attorneys at Law. Our attorney partners are: 10 galloneer Jay L. Rosenlieb, Partner, Labor and Employment Law, and Larry L. Fields, Partner, Trust, Estate and Probate Litigation. The Outlets at Tejon is California’s new brand in outlet shopping, offering impressive savings of up to 65% at more than 70 designer and brand-name stores.

Klein LogoWe thank Attorneys Rosenlieb and Fields for their generous support of our community blood bank this holiday season.

These added reasons to donate over the holidays show our appreciation for those who turn out to give the gift of life – truly the greatest gift anyone can give.

Reasons to Give T-shirts Are In!

Joy in Shirt The cheery winter t-shirt, which is free to donors, is now in stock! To take delivery of yours, just donate blood, platelets or plasma in December and January.  We try to order enough for a full 8 week donation cycle so all our regular donors can get one.  The shirt features reasons to give the gift of life in any season. As of January 2 the last shipment has been received so shirt availability and sizes is first come first serve while supplies last.

We hope you will like the bright colors and message. Tell family and friends to come and get theirs as well! We appreciate all the donors who wear their signature Houchin shirts around town and the world. It’s great advertising for us, and a token of our true thanks for your community service. Send us your travel or about town photos wearing our shirts anytime and we’ll feature you on Facebook and the Where in the World? page on our website.

photo 1 (73)Try as we might, we seem to run out of the larger sizes.  To help with this, we will be noting the 3X, 4X and 5X shirts as they go out so we have better idea about the need for these sizes which do cost more.  We truly do want all our donors to get our semi-annual t-shirts so they can proudly wear them all year!

If you donated and did not receive a shirt when we were between shipments over the holidays, we are calling you to let you know your shirt is in the week of January 6-10.  If you have any questions, contact us at info@hcbb.com or call 661-616-2500.