Donor of the Month: Elisa Hylton

Elisa HyltonDuring the time the Erskine Fire tore through the community of the Kern River Valley, Houchin Community Blood Bank cancelled a previously scheduled blood drive in Lake Isabella. This caused the number of blood units typically collected to be absent from our inventory. During this shortage we asked members of the local Bakersfield community to come out and donate blood at the County Administrative and Courts Buildings. One person we did not expect to show up was Elisa Hylton.

Elisa Hylton lives in Lake Isabella, an area of the Kern River Valley that was hit hard by the Erskine Fire. Although she definitely had more than enough to worry about, with her son and grandson’s homes in the direct path of the fire, she was caring enough to drive all the way to our Bolthouse location to donate blood. Elisa explains that she figured there was not going to be a blood drive in Lake Isabella so she decided to make the long drive to Bakersfield. “Donating blood means a lot to me. It makes me sad to think that two people perished in the fire. Donating blood is the least I could do during this time,” Elisa says.

Elisa first became a donor at the old G Street location. She recalls stopping by during her lunch breaks or on her way home from work. Today Elisa has donated  more than 4 gallons of blood. Remaining a frequent donor is in her plans. She says, “If I could help other people, that’s a good thing to do. My blood may make a difference to someone and I want to make sure they have it.”

During her free time Elisa enjoys spending time outdoors walking, hiking, and swimming in the lake with her son – a retired firefighter. Elisa is our Donor of the Month because she is an outstanding example of a truly altruistic individual who even in a time of personal stress did not think twice about helping others. Thank you, Elisa!

Special Blood Drives in August

As the last days of summer roll in, the need for blood donations continues grow. Please join us at one of the following special blood drives to have a blast giving the gift of life and scoring great prizes and freebies.

BJs-Restaurant-LogoSaturday, August 6th: Get your Pizookie on! BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse will be hosting a mobile drive at its Bakersfield location, 10750 Stockdale Highway from 12:00 pm to 3:30 pm. At the mobile drive, or at either donor center from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm, donors will receive a coupon for BJ’s Famous Pizookie dessert. These coupons are always a favorite of our donors, who agree with us that the opportunity to save lives is all the sweeter with a special treat!

Farmers Market

Sunday, August 7th It’s Donor Day at the Market at the Haggin Oaks Farmers Market in the Kaiser Permanente parking lot at 8800 Ming Avenue from 9 am to 2 pm.  Donors can enter to win the Community Wide Blood Drive Disney Vacation and $100 in Cool Cash sponsored by San Joaquin Community Hospital and Kaiser Permanente just for this mobile blood drive. Kaiser Permanente and San Joaquin Community Hospital are also sponsoring the Community Wide Blood Drive.



Saturday, August 20th: Take a spa day and join us at Milan Institute of Cosmetology on 2822 F Street, downtown. From 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, donors will have the opportunity to enjoy a number of prizes and goodies. All donors will receive a free chair massage, 25% off one student salon service, free food and t-shirt. Rosemarys_Picture_500Donors can also enter to win 4 park hopper tickets to Disneyland, thanks to Kern School Federal Credit Union, and a Rosemary’s Creamery Package. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity Kern-Schools-Logo-EPSto save lives and enjoy
a relaxing spa day too!


Friday, August 26th
: Stop by for a free Sonic  Route 44 Big Drink, car show, and blood drive! Join us at Sonic on 1227 Olive Drive from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm to give the gift of life. Donors at this mobile drive will receive a coupon for a Route 44 Big Drink, a pass to the Kern County Fair, and a free t-shirt. Enjoy an evening at the Sonic Car Show and save some lives!

HomeStoreLogoSaturday, August 27th: Ashley Furniture HomeStore will host another successful drive at their store just east of Calloway on Rosedale Highway from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and at both our donor centers from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. Donors will receive a pass to the Kern County Fair, a free Ashley Sleep Contour Pillow and a 25% off coupon for merchandise at the Ashley Furniture Homestore Bakersfield location!

Call us at 661-616-2505 to schedule your appointment at one of these drives before time slots fill up!

Pint for a Pass Blood Drive 2016

2016KernCountyFairlogoThe Kern County Fair will partner with us for a fourth annual Pint for a Pass Blood Drive, from August 15 to September 3, 2016. Donors at the donor centers AND mobile drives will be able to enjoy FREE adult admission passes to this year’s special 100th Anniversary Kern County Fair by simply rolling up a sleeve and donating a pint of blood or other needed blood products. Donors can also enter to win weekly two-packs, and a grand prize four-pack, to the Fair. Fair packs include parking, admission and ride wristbands.

86097760.bzHGhaalThe Great Kern County Fair of 2016 runs from September 21st to October 2nd.  As always, it will feature outstanding entertainment, fabulous food, thrilling rides, fascinating exhibits, and fun for the entire family.  “This partnership is natural, because of the rich history and deep roots of both organizations in Kern County, ” said Greg Gallion, President and CEO of the blood bank. “ Mike Olcott, CEO of the Great Kern County Fair reports: “Partnering with the Houchin Community Blood Bank on the Pint for a Pass Blood Drive has been a tremendous success for the fair in order to help the community and to fill the shelves with much needed blood supplies”.

Fair passes have been a successful way to attract donors during a time when the need is at its greatest. “Everyone loves the Great Kern County Fair, so we are thrilled to be able to offer our donors a free pass again this year. The passes really helped us motivate new and repeat donors the past three years at a time when back to school activities are pulling donors in other directions. We are sure this year’s Pint for a Pass Blood Drive will be just as successful”, says Carola Enriquez, Director of Community Development at Houchin.

Join us for the Pint for a Pass Blood Drive as we get ready to celebrate 100 years of fun at the Great Kern County Fair!

Clean Sweep for an August Donor

Clean Sweep Logo1Would you appreciate a little extra help in beautifying your home? Good news! All August donors will automatically be entered to win this month’s Executives’ Association of Kern County prize: $500 dollars in Clean Sweep Tile, Stone, and Carpet Services. Come in to any of our locations or blood drives to donate and you could be the winner of a “clean sweep’ at your house!

Ken and Kathy.jpgClean Sweep is owned by Ken and Kathy Pistoresi, who have helped people with their floor cleaning needs in the Bakersfield area for over 35 years. Ken is a certified expert in stone and tile restoration and cleaning, grout re-color, permanent grout sealer, concrete stains and coatings, and carpet and upholstery cleaning.  Clean Sweep has the expertise to provide warranty service work for major carpet manufacturers, and believes in educating the consumer about needed service to make the best informed decision on possible cleaning and repair techniques. Clean Sweep can advise on the best course of action for the consumer no matter how damage occurred or how serious the flooring or furnishing problem seems.

Both Ken and Kathy are valued blood donors as well, with 10 gallons of blood donations between them. We thank them for for being such great supporters of blood donation in our community!