Free Pizookie for Donors

BJs-Restaurant-LogoGet your Pizookie® on Saturday, June 27! BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse will be hosting a mobile drive at its Bakersfield location,10750 Stockdale Highway, from noon to 4:00 pm. At the mobile drive, or at either donor center from 8 am to 2 pm, donors will score our free summer t-shirt and a coupon for BJ’s Famous Pizookie® dessert. These coupons are always a real favorite with our donors who know a good thing when they eat it, and believe the opportunity to save lives is all the sweeter with such a special treat!

choc chunk pizookieBJ’s Famous Pizookie® comes in Chocolate Chunk, Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, as well as Salted Caramel, Peanut Butter S’mores, Cookies ‘n’ Cream, and Triple Chocolate. There is also a gluten-free Chocolate Chip Pizookie®. These are definitely worth saving room for as each is served warm from the oven and topped with premium ice cream.  Yum!  Don’t miss out on a chance to save lives on BJ’s day at Houchin.

Three-Way Chevrolet-Cadillac Summer Blood Drive

Three WayThree-Way Chevrolet-Cadillac will host The Three-Way Chevrolet-Cadillac Summer Blood Drive to help “drive up blood donations” this summer! The blood drive is open to the public and will be held on Friday, June 26, at 4501 Wible Road in Bakersfield, from 9 am to 3 pm in the Three-way Cadillac showroom at the Bakersfield Auto Mall. We hope to attract 100 donors to this mobile drive.

Quigs Ad Logo MJS 052615 (1) Donors will enjoy a free hot dog and hamburger barbecue from Quig’s BBQ and Catering. Each donor that day will receive one of our summer t-shirts and a Supplier Pricing Certificate to use on qualifying new vehicles!

Three-Way’s mission is to be the premier retail automotive organization in Kern County, by providing customers a superior ownership experience. According to Ted Nicholas, CEO: 83510d784bf5100588b810145efa6b30“At Three-Way Chevrolet-Cadillac our motto is “WE’RE HERE TO HELP!”  That applies not only to providing a great experience for our clients, but to helping out in our community as well.  And what could be a better opportunity to help than to host a blood drive partnering with Houchin Community Blood Bank?”

Old ChevyThree-Way began business in 1956 downtown on Chester Avenue.  The need to expand encouraged the flourishing company to move “out in the country” to 3800 California Avenue in 1969. The award-winning dealership purchased the Cadillac franchise in 2003. Record sales continued, and Three-Way attained the Top Chevrolet and Top GM Retailer in the state of California for 6 consecutive years.  In fact, Three-Way was recognized as the Top Chevrolet Retail Sales Leader in the United States during the months of June and July 2006.

In August that year, Three-Way moved once again to a state-of-the-art dealership facility in the Bakersfield Auto Mall, where they proudly serve all of Kern County’s automotive needs today. Exemplary service, and an earnest desire to help all customers drive not only an affordable, but a superior automobile, are the hallmarks of the dealership.

We are looking forward to our drive at the Cadillac showroom with this great community partner. For an appointment call Three-Way at  661-283-3300 or click here.

Murray Family Farms Day

Murray Family FarmsYou’ve seen their fruit filled stands at the Bakersfield Farmer’s Markets, why not visit the source? On Saturday June 13, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm we will be at Murray Family Farms for a truly enjoyable mobile drive from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  This is a great opportunity for adults to take turns donating, while another adult enjoys all that this great local attraction offers families.  Donors will receive a one half price admission to the farm full of fun for the whole family.

What a great opportunity to save some lives, PLUS check out all Murray Family Farms  offers in the way of tasty home-cooked food, produce, jams, pies, jerky, nuts, fudge and much, much more in their wholesome and unique store. What could be more fun in the summer than picking your own fruit and veggies and introducing the family to great produce and life on the farm? We appreciate the opportunity to have something truly health conscious and family oriented to offer our donors, and are pleased to have a new mobile partner in eastern Kern County.

World Blood Donor Day 2015

World Blood Donor Day is celebrated annually on June 14th. Organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), the theme of this year’s campaign is “Thank you for saving my life”. The focus is on thanking blood donors who save lives every day through their blood donations in an effort to encourage more people all over the world to donate blood voluntarily and regularly, using the slogan “Give freely, give often. Blood donation matters.” According to WHO, “The campaign aims to highlight stories from people whose lives have been saved through blood donation, as a way of motivating regular blood donors to continue giving blood, and to encourage people in good health who have never given blood, particularly young people, to begin doing so.”

Nexcare_Give_2015_Bandages_FanWe will have displays about World Blood Donor Day, featuring patients whose lives we have saved, at each donor center. The displays will include free packs of NexCare give Bandages.  The colorful theme of the bandages this year is “Creating a Culture of Giving”.  The Nexcare Give Program celebrates all those who “give” blood around the world. The 2015 limited-edition collection of bandages features eight vibrant designs inspired by patterns and textiles from various cultures and locations around the world.

“During our recognition of World Blood Donor Day this year, we appreciate the opportunity to remind the public of the need for blood donors from all nationalities to meet rare antigen requests from hospitals for the patients we serve”, said Carola Enriquez, Director of Community Development. “As part of our displays at each center, donors will find an information sheet they can fill in to volunteer information about their national origins to aid us in our rare antigen testing program”, she added.

Univision and Macy’s Partnership

Macy's gift cardTo kick off our summer t-shirt season during the first two weeks of June, Univision Bakersfield 39 is running Spanish language commercials featuring local program hosts Pepe Reyes, of Pulse of the Valley (Pulso del Valle), and Mari Perez-Dowling, of Kern with You (Kern Contigo). Macy’s has generously provided one $250 Macy’s Gift Card for each of our two donor centers to be used for donor drawings.  Entry blanks are available when you register, and the drawings will be held after the last donor has entered on Saturday, June 13, 2015.  We will announce the winners on our Facebook Page.  All donors receive our free summer t-shirts.  We thank these businesses for working with us to “keep hope afloat” for the patients we serve by attracting more people in to donate blood, platelets and plasma for transfusion this summer.

Donors are Summer Lifeguards

FB LifeguardOur summer t-shirt theme this year is life guarding.  That’s exactly what our donors do each time they come in to donate blood, plasma or platelets. Our donors are truly “on duty” this summer to insure there are enough of these products for every patient need. We ask both new and repeat donors to “keep hope afloat” this summer by making sure to donate two or more times.  The free t-shirt is available in June and July, while supplies last.

Karlee shows off the t-shirt filled drawers at the Bolthouse Donor Center

Karlee shows off the t-shirt filled drawers at the Bolthouse Donor Center

Once you have your shirt, wear it proudly around town to encourage others to give. We hope to be getting some selfies featuring our fabulous donors in their shirts from all over the world and here at home. Just post them on our Facebook page or e-mail them to and we will be sure to share them. Can we get some at the swimming pool, lake, or ocean to go with our theme?  Thanks for being a donor, and enjoy your shirt with our compliments.

Free Big Mac for Donors

Local McDonald’s stores have joined with us to celebrate National Hamburger Day on Thursday, May 28th from 11 am to 7 pm, by offering coupons for a signature Big Mac® to donors while supplies last. Donors can go to either of our Bakersfield donor centers to take part in the celebration.

Big Macs® were invented at a Pennsylvania McDonald’s in 1967 and cost 45 cents. The popular sandwich went national the next year for 49 cents in 1968.  You won’t even have to pay 1960s prices with your free coupon, so come on in to celebrate with a blood, platelet or plasma donation. Take a selfie and use this hash tag #‎nationalhamburgerday‬ for more fun.


Luncheon Ends Great School Year

LuncheonAt the end of each school year, Houchin Community Blood Bank hosts an elegant luncheon to recognize  high schools contributing the most blood.  This year the theme of the High School Appreciation Luncheon on May 15th was “Leading The Way”.

The schools in our High School Challenge are divided into four categories: Petite, Small, Medium and Large, based on their senior class size. The Petite school winner was Immanuel Christian High School which collected an average of 35 units with a class size of 8.  Small school winner was Frazier Mountain High School  with 121% of their class size participating, collecting a total of 61 units. The Medium school winner was North High School which collected 406 units or 122% of their class size. Our Large school winner was West High School  collecting 99% of their class size with a total of 508 units.

Extra Mile Award

The new Extra Mile Award for the school sending the most students to the donor centers was presented to Liberty by sponor Kern Schools Federal Credit Union.

This year a new award was unveiled at the luncheon sponsored by Kern Schools Federal Credit Union.  This “Extra Mile Award”. This was presented to Liberty High School, for bringing in 115 donors into our donor centers. Stockdale High School  was recognized for bringing in the most units during the crucial months of Summer. 94 donors came into either donor center crediting Stockdale High.   In all, high schools came together to hold 53 blood drives,and collecting 6,617 units of blood, which was an increase of 570 units over last school year.  These donations possibly saved as many as 19,851 lives. High school blood drives represent over 20% of our total blood supply. More photos are available in our Facebook Photo Album.

The Leading the Way trophies lined up for presentation along with The Extra Mile Award.

Each participating school, received a “Leading the Way” award plus a signature Houchin Community Blood Bank license plate frame featuring the number of gallons of blood each school has collected in total during their years of participation. The Houchin Ambassadors in each school, who organize the drives to gain leadership experience and community service, were recognized for their hard work, as were the principals and advisors who make the program so successful.  Brian Serrano, a senior from Golden Valley High School was one of the speakers as was Gaby Rios, a junior from Arvin High School who also served as a Houchin high school ambassador. They both received a $250.00 scholarship, sponsored by Kern Schools Federal Credit Union.

2015 High School Luncheon

Stephanie Gibbons, Account Manager for the High School Program, recognized all the sponsors and winners.

Other award presentations were made to community volunteers who assist with the high school mobiles and local businesses who support the high school program including:  Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, Yogurtland, McDonald’s, Rusty’s Pizza, Wall Street Imprintables,  Sonic Drive In and Tutti Frutti Yogurt @ Hageman.

It was announced that the Gallon Grad Club, welcomed in 145 students,who met this challenge by donating 8 times to reach the one gallon mark.  Each received their own one gallon license plate frame, a custom blood type key chain, and a letter of recognition from our President and CEO, Greg Gallion, at the time their achievement was reached.

Nurses: Essential Pieces of Our Team

Nurse Picture

Our Nurses: Valerie, Robynn, Bronny, Amy, Amanda, Katie, Jeri, Carlena, and Cindy.

Our nurses are an essential piece of our team. By California State Law, a registered nurse must be present when blood, platelets or plasma are drawn for human transfusion.  That means there has to be an RN at each donor center and on each mobile drive, day in and day out.  They supervise our blood collection methods to make sure we follow all the regulations guiding our industry completely. In addition, one of our nurses, Amanda Mason, serves as Chief Operating Officer, overseeing many aspects of day-to-day operation.

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Nurse Katie helps President and CEO Greg Gallion with a platelet donation.

According to Greg Gallion, President and CEO: “The professional contributions that our nurses provide to our staff and donors is crucial to our operation. We value their leadership and sound decision-making every day to provide our donors with exceptional customer service and ensure a safe, pleasant environment for all. We also rely on their sensitive work counseling with donors, their leadership and training of staff, and that special care they show to both our donors and the blood collection process at every location.”

Our nurses are also willing to donate blood products themselves, and personally serve as training subjects as new staff members learn to check iron and blood pressure or draw blood. We thank our new nurses, Amy and Robynn, for joining Carlena, Jeri, Amanda, Valerie, Cindy, Bronny and Katie in service to our community.

Every year we join the American Nurses Association in commemorating National Nurses Week from May 6 through May 12. The celebration ends on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. The purpose of the celebration is to raise awareness about the value of nursing, and educate the public about the role nurses play in meeting the health care needs of all.

We are honored to celebrate the 3.1 million registered nurses in our nation this week, especially the 9 nurses working with us. Thanks ladies!

Donate Life Day Honors Brayden’s Brave Heart

Brayden waits for a new heart.

Brayden waits for a new heart.

April is National Donate Life Month, encouraging organ donation, so JJ’s Legacy is joining us to co-sponsor Donate Life Day on Saturday, April 18 from 9 -1 pm at the Bolthouse Donor Center, 11515 Bolthouse Drive in Bakersfield. The day will feature information and activities on organ donation, organ and tissue transplants, and the need for blood products to support transplant patients.  JJ’s Legacy has provided an iPad Mini for a Donate Life Month drawing prize to encourage donation, and refreshments will be served.

Brayden has a good day.

Brayden dreams of playing like other children.

The day will honor 7-year-old Brayden Eidenshink, a local boy who has been waiting more than 220 days for a heart transplant. Brayden and his family have sponsored blood drives with us in the past, in recognition of all the blood he needed with prior surgeries. He has been on IVIG to help prepare his body for a transplant, and that medicine is made from plasma. Now, with his urgent need for a heart transplant, we want to show Brayden and his family that we are pulling for them all the way as he awaits his new heart.  You can learn more about this family’s journey on Facebook at Brayden’s Brave Heart. Donations can be made at any time to honor Brayden using Account Code 616.

If he is well enough to attend the event, Brayden and his mom, Brenda, will stop by to meet his friends.  Brayden’s Brave Heart has more than 2,200 friends on Facebook and we hope you will become one as well so you can follow his progress. The public is encouraged to attend Donate Life Day and sign a banner of hope and good wishes for Brayden as he continues his journey to a new heart.

PrintIt is particularly poignant that our Donate Life Day co-sponsor, JJ’s Legacy, is named for Jeffery Johns, a young man who tragically lost his life, but was able to serve others through organ donation. “His young and strong heart will continue to beat” through the organization, as well as the patient who received his heart.  We hope someone else will be as kind as Jeffery’s parents were in the face of extreme tragedy, so that Brayden gets his new heart.

Pink DotOn Donate Life Day, the public will be able to sign up for a Pink Dot on their license signifying intention to be an organ donor; donate blood, platelets and plasma; and join the bone marrow registry.  Members of the following organizations will be on hand with informational booths: JJ’s Legacy, American Heart Association, San Joaquin Community Hospital’s Grossman Burn Center, Advanced Center for Eyecare, National Kidney Foundation , Suggs Memorial Renal Fund, and Hina Patel Foundation. Transplant patients will be available to meet donors and the general public.

TheWish_logo_rgb_tag1We will also show the short film The Wish: A story of Hope, Faith & Generosity, at 9am, 10am, 11am and noon on Donate Life Day. This 45 minute film from Donate Life America tells the story of one woman’s difficult wait for a kidney transplant.  The film explores the dire situation for Black and Hispanic patients who need transplants because they are less likely to find a match due to a lack of donated organs coming from those communities.   A trailer from the film is available at the link.

We hope you will join us for this day honoring a special little boy waiting for his new heart.