Thanksgiving Hours

Happy-ThanksgivingWe have special holiday hours on Wednesday, November 25 from 9 am to 3 pm at both locations, and will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2015. The need for blood, platelets and plasma does not take vacations, so we hope to see donors in before and after the holidays.  O- blood is in very short supply.

We are thankful for our donors and wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving!

O- Blood Supply Dangerously Low

O- Blood NeededWe are in constant need of O-negative blood, and try to maintain a stock of more than 100 units at all times to support our hospitals. O- is the one type of blood that absolutely always has to be on hand because it can go to anyone to save a life. As the universal blood type it is required for emergencies of all kinds and for fragile newborns who often need transfusions of O- blood.  If you are in the 7% of the population who have O- blood, you can help anyone, yet should you need blood, O- is what you need. Truly the life you save may be your own with an O- blood donation.

Having a well-stocked blood supply is crucial to keeping our trauma centers functioning, and O-negative blood at a bedside can mean the difference between life and death. We urge all eligible O- donors to come in to donate as only they can fill this critical public health need for our community.


Destination For Your Donation Is Back

bay-503139_1280The annual Destination for Your Donation Blood Drive is back and bigger than ever. Thanks to The Wonderful Company, one lucky donor will win a fabulous Hawaii Vacation Package: five nights and six days in our great vacation state.  All you have to do to enter is fill in an entry slip when you donate between November 16 and 27, 2015. This annual drive helps us kick off the holiday season, just in time to remind people that the need for blood, platelets and plasma will not decline as holiday festivities get underway.

526aec195df6e309c75ed8de9b09b22d_f747The Wonderful Company, formerly known as Paramount Farms, is the world’s largest grower and processor of almonds and pistachios. Working with their Grower Partners, they farm 125,000 sunny acres that deliver 450 million pounds of nuts. We are thrilled that this internationally recognized corporation has chosen to recognize the contributions of Kern County blood donors with this awesome prize drawing again this year.

Jamba Juice for the Holidays

Jamba CouponTake a moment to recover from your Thanksgiving meal and take a break from holiday shopping to focus on saving a life this holiday season. Kick-off the season of giving by donating blood at Jamba Juice Day on Saturday, November 28th. All donors will receive coupons for a delicious 16 ounce smoothie available at both donor centers, and at a special mobile drive at the Jamba Juice store located at 9360 Rosedale Highway from 8 am to 3 am, while supplies last. Also donors at all locations can enter to win a fabulous Hawaii Vacation package sponsored by The Wonderful Company as part of our Destination for Your Donation Blood Drive.  Make an appointment for this great day of giving to save lives during the holiday season.

Only volunteer donors can give blood, and we rely on an average of 150 people to keep up with patient needs each day.  Holidays mean that regular donors are traveling, and winter brings seasonal illnesses, both of which keep regular donors from helping us keep up with a demand which can increase on holiday weekends. We appreciate Jamba Juice for recognizing this need and hosting this popular annual drive.

Celebrate National Sandwich Day With Us

jersey-mikes-subsNational Sandwich Day is finally here! On Tuesday, November 3rd, celebrate this yummy day by donating blood, platelets, or plasma and receive a coupon for a free regular sub from Jersey Mike’s Subs. With three locations in Bakersfield convenient to our donor centers, this is a great way to treat yourself to lunch or dinner after saving lives!

Jersey Mike’s Subs has been in business since 1956, and prides itself on “providing customers with the freshest, highest quality sub sandwiches available, prepared right in front of you and served with energy and enthusiasm. Our culture of giving and making a difference in the lives of our customers creates an important bond in the communities we serve” according to founder Peter Cancro on the company’s website.

We appreciate the spirit of giving we have experienced with our local Jersey Mike’s stores and look forward to celebrating National Sandwich Day with our volunteer donors thanks to them.

Thanks a Gallon Recognition Event

Phlebotomist Beatrice congratulating donor, Yessica on her 3 gallon milestone!

Without blood donors, many patients simply would not be alive today. Some donors have made it their mission to help save lives repeatedly. Year after year, we have donors committed to doing their part to help patients in need, with an amazing dedication that never waivers.

As a special thank you to our dedicated donors reaching milestones on Friday, November 27, 2015, we will be hosting a special event in their honor. Join us at either donor center for our Thanks a Gallon social event. Donors will enjoy free delicious tacos from 11- 2 pm from Taco Fusion and a coupon for a buy one of their well known Fatboy Fries and get one half off! Taco Fusion is honored to have an opportunity to help thank our lifesaving donors. Taco Fusion owner, Jeanny Kamphan is enthusiastic about our partnership, “we believe what makes a living is what we get, however we make life by what we give. Setting your heart to do good will be filled with joy,” expressed Jeanny.  Plus, Curbside Kitchen is joining the fun by providing a voucher for free garlic fries! Also, take selfies in front of our fun photo booth from Ballooniverse by Jennifer . We will also have other goodies and fun as we celebrate that next gallon milestone!

Giving-Thanks-for-Giving“Thanksgiving is a time for thanks, so what better way to show how much we appreciate the giving spirit of our dedicated donors than by celebrating their milestones,” said Joy Invina, Community Development Account Manager. Each gallon milestone takes 8 pints, which takes at least 16 months. A small percentage of the population gives blood at all, and fewer still reach incredible milestones, so each gallon really is a great achievement worth shouting about!

If you are not sure where you stand on your next gallon achievement, call Peggy at 616-2540 for more information.  If you know you have a milestone coming up make an appointment to give during the Thanks a Gallon social event by calling Peggy or filling in a request here. We look forward to recognizing your efforts during this special day.



Great Event at Souza Family Vineyards!


Tehachapi platelet donor Loree Gracey, and Houchin Account Manager Christina Scrivner assist Celebrity Bartender AbbyNormal in keeping up with the demand for tastes at Souza Family Vineyards.

Thanks to our tiny four-legged celebrity bartender, AbbeNormal, her amazing owner Loree Gracey and Souza Family Vineyards, we launched an outreach campaign to raise awareness about our need for more platelet donors. On October 4, 2015, Abbe, Loree, plus Bob and Patty Souza hosted a wonderful Celebrity Bartender Event to raise financial support and awareness for the increasing need for platelets by patients nationwide. Platelets are used to counteract the effects of chemotherapy, to help ready a patient for surgery, and with any clotting disorder or trauma situation. The process to collect that component of the blood is a little more involved and done exclusively at our two locations in Bakersfield.

12140609_10153295587619582_6277524614566365055_nLoree began donating platelets after she learned of their life saving properties and has been very passionate about encouraging others to consider joining this team of lifesavers! Once a month she travels to Bakersfield and spends a couple of hours at the donor center of her choice to impact the most lives with her donation. While whole blood is still in constant demand, new protocols have reduced the need for red cell transfusions. This is not the case with platelets. Platelets are in constant and increasing demand, have an exceptionally short shelf life of only 5 days after testing, and can only be collected via state-of-the-art automated donation equipment available only in Bakersfield.

With the funds raised by Abbe and Loree at Souza Family Vineyards, we have developed a special winter program for Tehachapi area donors who travel to Bakersfield to make automated donations. From November 1, 2015 to January 30, 2016, each Tehachapi area donor who donates through our Gold Club, will be entered to win a $250 gift card. To learn more about our Gold Club or for qualifications please contact Peggy Smith at  661-616-2540.

Honor Your Veteran

3021536045_19771984cfVeterans Day is a great day to donate blood, platelets or plasma in honor of a veteran or current member of the armed services.

If you have a veteran in your family to recognize this Veterans Day, why not consider a brick in our Path of Life at the new Bolthouse Donor Center? Bricks start at just $125 and are located at the entrance to our new headquarters building at 11515 Bolthouse Drive. This path is a permanent installation surrounded by lush landscaping and beautiful water features.

Veterans brickLarger 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 for more information.

Local Business Supporting Our Veterans

logoBlood drive sponsors play a vital role by hosting drives in our community. We appreciate local family-owned Vacusweep for sponsoring our Veterans Day Blood Drive for a second year. Vacusweep supports our troops in many ways: by sending packages overseas to our soldiers, honoring them by wearing red shirts on Fridays, and partnering with us on Veterans Day.


Captain Ranger Jeff Jones

A family member’s story is what spurred Owner/Operator JR Jones to sponsor two $100 VISA gift cards that two lucky Veterans Day donors will win on Wednesday, November 11th. JR’s son Jeff, proudly serves in United States Army. During a 15 month tour in Afghanistan, Jeff lost his friend and fellow soldier, his father-in-law, a grandparent and his little sister. These losses made the tour of duty just that much harder. His mother Susie says: “What a price to pay for our freedom!” They are forever grateful for their soldier and hero Jeff.

Jeff Jones pictured with his mom, Susie and JR.

Jeff Jones pictured with his mother, Susie and father JR.

Vacusweep is a division of JOSCO Construction, Inc. which has served Kern County for the past 26 years as a commercial & residential sweeping company. Both JOSCO Construction, Inc. and Vacusweep are located in Bakersfield, California and serve all Kern County, including rural areas such as Tehachapi, Delano, Wasco, Buttonwillow, Shafter, Arvin. Visit their website to learn more about their commercial sweeping, building maintenance and other services.



Enter to Win $500 Holiday Cash

rumufypeThe holidays are almost here. Does your shopping list continue to grow? We are here to help with the November Executives’ Association of Kern County Drawing for $500 in Holiday Cash, sponsored by the The Blind Installer. Wouldn’t that be a great boost for the holidays? There are no forms to fill out as your donation of blood, platelets, or plasma given at any mobile drive or at either donor center serves as an automatic entry throughout the month. 

The Blind Installer JPGWard Miller is the owner of The Blind Installer, providing the latest in custom window coverings of all kinds here in Kern County. The Blind Installer is a proud supporter of Houchin Community Blood Bank. The blinds at the new Bolthouse Donor Center are Ward’s work, and he prides himself on knowing the product for each application. Although he does not do draperies, he would be happy to discuss the many alternatives available to help insulate your home and enhance its beauty. Ward can be reached at 661-829-2512 or 303-8044 to discuss any window covering needs.