From December 2 through 21, 2013 both donor center canteens will feature beautiful custom trees from our friends at Outdoor Galore. The local outdoor retailer transforms into a stunning holiday store for the season: consider it Christmas Galore! Best of all, lucky donors will win these stunning trees with all their trimmings at each donor center. The two winners will be notified on December 23, just in time to enjoy the fabulous trees at home! Donors will also receive a 20% discount coupon off one item at the store and the opportunity to enter a drawing to win $1,000, $500 or $250 Outdoor Galore gift cards at the store located at 6801 White Lane in Bakersfield through Friday, December 20.
According to John McMurtrey, Business Development and Marketing with Outdoor Galore, everyone is looking forward to the third annual Givin’ Grillin’ and Chillin’ mobile blood drive on April 5 and 6, 2014 at the Outdoor Galore store, but given Houchin’s need this time of year, it seemed like a natural fit to sponsor Christmas Galore at both donor center canteens. “We really appreciate all the good folks at Outdoor Galore going out of their way to create holiday cheer for our donors as they enjoy well deserved snacks after giving the gift of life”, said Carola Enriquez, Director of Community Development. The professionally designed and decorated trees are valued at $500 each.
Hundreds of local senior citizens face the holiday season without family and on an extremely tight budget, unable to afford some of the basics most take for granted. There are many veterans among the over sixteen hundred seniors identified throughout Kern County by Bakersfield Christmas for Seniors as needing some holiday cheer this year. All that is needed is some extra elves to help provide these basics which will be delivered in a festive box by caring volunteers.
We will have collection boxes in the lobby of both donor centers from December 2-9 to accept toiletries, paper products, gift cards, easy care clothing, sugar-free candy, and similar goods. Each senior is asked to specify one $20 value item they would like to have. Every effort is made to provide that, plus a $20 grocery or pharmacy gift card, in addition to their box of sundries. Seniors ask for simple things such as kitchen towels, a blanket, robes and slippers, and white socks. Seniors can also indicate if they have a pet, and additional items for their furry friend will be provided. A full wish list can be downloaded here for your shopping convenience.
Banker and copy paper boxes with lids are needed for volunteers to wrap to organize the household and personal care items personally delivered to each senior by local volunteers. If you can contribute such boxes, bring them to either donor center or directly to the elves’ cottage at Glenwood Gardens, 350 Calloway Drive in Bakersfield. Just follow the signs to Cottage Number 401. We hope you will join us in supporting the work of Bakersfield Christmas for Seniors during their 7th holiday season helping home bound, isolated seniors trying to hold onto their independence!
In our ongoing effort to inform donors and the public about maximizing the potential of their blood donation, the theme for this year’s winter t-shirt is “The Right Type to Donate Blood”. The festive burgundy shirt is stylish and features distressed lettering that identifies the wearer as a valued blood donor. Not all blood types are needed at all times, and to be good stewards of the blood supply, as well as the time of donors, we only call for the products we need. Based on current need and blood type, we encourage donors to give platelet donation a try. We only have five days to get platelets through testing and on to a patient, so a constant supply of platelet donors is needed. Ensuring that hospitals and other transfusion centers have what they need is a daily monitoring effort made possible only by willing volunteer donors like you.
We hope donors will enjoy their “Right Type” t-shirt and wear it with pride in the community. Shirts will be available at the donor centers and on mobile drives throughout December and into January. When you wear you shirt you are a walking advertisement to encourage others to give the gift of life. Only 38% of the population can give blood, and less than 10% do. Thanks for being one of the few!
A view of the stunning spring flowers and oak trees at Tejon Ranch now brightens the entrance of our new Bolthouse Donor Center in the Seven Oaks Business Park, thanks to a huge mural unveiled in the Tejon Ranch Lobby on Tuesday, November 12, 2013. The beautiful photograph was taken by former Tejon Ranch employee Rob Peterson. Vital
Signs designed and installed the colorful mural featuring lupines and oak trees covering an entire wall.
Greg Gallion, Houchin Community Blood Bank President and CEO, welcomed the dignitaries attending the unveiling. He pointed out the appropriateness of the installation since “Preserving California’s Legacy, Providing for California’s Future” is the motto of Tejon Ranch, and their gift helped ensure the blood bank would be continuing it’s more than 60 year legacy into the future through the efficient new Bolthouse Donor Center.
“Tejon Ranch is excited to partner with Houchin Community Blood Bank,” said Bob Stine, President and CEO of Tejon Ranch Company. “Their services are vital to the health of local families, and we welcome the opportunity to make this donation and to provide for Kern County’s future.”
Tejon Ranch generously contributed $250,000 towards the new Bolthouse Donor Center, and the lobby recognizes their generous support of the blood bank’s vital work supplying blood products to patients through partner hospitals and other patient care facilities. The center is named for the generous gift of five acres of land from the William Bolthouse family as a building site. The Bolthouse Donor Center was the first building to open in the all new Seven Oaks Business Park under development by Bolthouse Properties.
The Tejon Ranch Lobby is certainly more beautiful and welcoming thanks to the new mural. Tejon Ranch’s ongoing support of our mission is greatly appreciated, and we hope everyone passing through the Tejon Ranch Lobby will be inspired by the lovely mural reflecting one of our county’s true treasures.
Wondering what to get that difficult to buy for friend, loved one or family 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. What 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.
The 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 and 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.
On October 24, 2014 we celebrated Ridgecrest’s 50th Anniversary year with a recognition event for volunteers and donors. We have an ongoing and very special relationship with Ridgecrest and its donors. We collect an average of 200 units a month and 98 from our community drive. We have a high number of O- donors in Ridgecrest, so know we will get a boost to our inventory of the universal blood type each time we visit. Since 2009, 8,000 pints of blood have been donated at Ridgecrest’s various mobile drives.
Christina Scrivner, Account Manager for Eastern Kern, served as Master of Ceremonies for the event, which featured remarks from Greg Gallion, President and CEO, and Carola Enriquez, Community Development Director. Leslie Layfield’s story of how blood donors saved her son’s life brought tears to the eyes of many, and the musical number by RMES was a wonderful addition to the program. Gregory Morrow was recognized as Ridgecrest’s top donor with 18 gallons to his credit. A quilt featuring Houchin t-shirts by Debbie Ball was displayed behind the speakers serving as a very appropriate backdrop to the proceedings.
All 5 gallon and up donors were recognized as part of the event, as were special people, businesses and organizations which make our work in Ridgecrest possible:
- Ridgecrest Regional Hospital,
- The Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce,
- Spring Hill Inn and Suites
- Adelman Broadcasting
- IRock Radio
- The Daily Independent
- The News Review
- Debbie Ball
- Amy Covert
- Alta One Community Federal Credit Union
- Burroughs High School
- Cerro Coso Community College
- Branch Health Clinic at ChinaLake
- Immanuel Christian School
- Toyota of Ridgecrest
- Todd Layfield Family
A very special award was presented to Sarah Hoekman, our volunteer chairperson at Immanuel Christian High School. She was recognized as Chair Person of the Year, a new award which the blood bank will give annually. Many Immanuel students attended the event to honor their teacher. Immanuel’s drives are so noteworthy because with a senior class size of only 14, 359 pints of blood have been collected since 2011.
View Ridgecrest’s 5 gallon and over donors are listed here.
In honor of Veterans Day, Kern River Blue Star Moms will be hosting a blood drive beginning November 11 through November 16, 2013. Both donor centers will serve as collection points for goods to go into care packages for our troops currently serving overseas. These care packages symbolizes ”a taste of home” to sons and daughters serving around the world.
According to Candace Masias, Vice President of the Kern River Blue Star Moms, ” the Kern River Blue Star Moms is committed to serving our community and supporting a blood drive is a great way to raise awareness about the need for donors.” Blue Star Moms are the mothers of current service members of all branches of the Armed Forces of the United States, or whose children are veterans.There will be boxes at each donor center to collect personal care and snack items. Print the full shopping list here. Just bring your contributions during the drive to either donor center to honor all those serving our nation today.
Kern River Blue Star Moms is our local chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. The purpose of the organization and its chapters is to share pride, devotion and the worries associated with having sons and daughters serving in the military. Not only does Blue Star Moms provide support for active duty service personnel, they promote patriotism, assist veterans organizations, and are available to assist in homeland volunteer efforts to help our country remain strong.
The holiday season is built on traditions so thanks to our sponsor, Paramount Farms, we are again able to offer our annual Destination for Your Donation Blood Drive beginning November 21 through November 30, one lucky donor can be relaxing on the beaches of Hawaii. The Destination for your Donation is a trip for two to Hawaii, which can be customized at a local travel agent and taken any time during the next year. To kick-off this blood drive this year, on Thursday, November 21 from 5-8 pm at our Truxtun Donor Center, donors will enjoy the flavors of the Hawaiian Islands.
On long weekends, especially holiday weekends, there is a decrease in donors that are coming in the door to donate blood and platelets. Long holiday weekends pose an extra challenge when many donors are traveling to be with family and friends. Winter illnesses among regular donors just add to the difficulty. Winter holidays are a time when blood supply decreases while emergency needs remain the same. The blood that comes in Thanksgiving week not only can help keep supplies up for Thanksgiving holiday travelers, accidents, and illnesses, but will also help carry us through the December holidays.
Paramount Farm’s support allows us to offer a really attractive incentive to encourage donations during this crucial week. Not only are trip drawings fun for established donors, they can help new donors finally make the decision to come on in and donate. We hope Hawaii beckoning will in increase the number of new donors that decide to act on their desire to donate this year.
Our friends at Grocery Outlet Bargain Market are helping us encourage blood donation as Thanksgiving approaches by sponsoring a Pint for a Pie Blood Drive from November 18-20, 2013. Donors at both donor centers will be given a coupon for a free pie while supplies last those three days.
Glenn and Jennifer Hopkins are the operators of our only Grocery Outlet Bargain Market store at Ming and Ashe Streets in Bakersfield, and this is just one of the many charitable endeavors they undertake each year. We appreciate their support of blood donation in our community!