Missing Type Campaign

Every second three people across the world receive a life changing blood transfusion. For this reason, Houchin Community Blood Bank is uniting with blood donor organizations across 21 countries for the Missing Type Campaign. The campaign will run from August 16-21, 2016. It highlights an almost 30% drop in people becoming blood donors compared to a decade ago worldwide. Reversing this trend is crucial to meeting daily patient needs.

Pint for a Pass Missing TypeThroughout the campaign, the letters of the main blood groups, As, Bs and Os, will disappear in everyday and iconic locations around the world.  Kern County businesses and personalities are welcome to join in all week by removing these letters from their brand or name and posting it online with #MissingType through Sunday, August 21, 2016.

2016KernCountyFairlogoThe Kern County Fair is celebrating its 100th Anniversary in 2016 by kicking off the annual Pint for a Pass Blood Drive this week, and is providing a free admission pass to each donor. Donors at both Bakersfield donor centers and at the following mobile drives will receive the fair admission pass and have the opportunity to take a photo of themselves for posting on social media with a #MissingType sign to show solidarity with this international campaign.

  • Tuesday, August 16           Tehachapi Community                    12 noon – 6:00 pm        Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 329 South Mill Street, Tehachapi
  • Wednesday, August 17      Ridgecrest Community                   12 noon – 6:00 pm        Kerr McGee Center, 100 W. California, Ridgecrest
  • Thursday, August 18           Delano Regional Medical              11:15 am – 4:00 pm     1401 Garces Highway, Delano
  • Friday, August 19                Home Depot – Gosford                    9:00 am – 1:00 pm  4700 Gosford Road, Bakersfield
  • Saturday, August 20           Milan Institute                                  10:00 am – 2:00 pm  2822 F Street, Bakersfield
  • Sunday, August 21             St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Church     8:30 am – 12 noon 12300 Reina Road, Bakersfield

Hours at the Bakersfield Donor Centers are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9 am to 6 pm, Thursday 11 am to 7 pm, and Saturday 8 am to 2 pm. The Truxtun Donor Center is located at 5901 Truxtun Avenue, and the Bolthouse Donor Center is at 11515 Bolthouse Drive.

Missing type 3In Kern County there is a particular ongoing need for O+ and O- blood donors, and donors of any blood type for platelet donations.  Donors who do not know their blood type are always welcome. New donors will receive a donor card with their blood type and additional information about what patients most need from them after their first donation.

The Missing Type Campaign, was first held in England and North Wales by NHS Blood and Transplant last year, but has expanded for 2016 to bring together 25 blood services from 21 countries covering one billion of the world’s population. Each blood service is calling for new donors to ensure blood donation for present and future generations.

According to recent research by blood collection services worldwide, key barriers to people becoming donors include:

  • increasing urbanization
  • wider and more exotic travel
  • people have less time to give in an increasingly busy and digital world
  • lack of awareness about the need for more diverse blood donors
  • a rise in the popularity of tattoos

GapsAccording to Carola Enriquez, Director of Community Development at Houchin Community Blood Bank: “We really hope that people living in Kern County will be inspired by the international Missing Type Campaign to start saving lives by becoming blood donors. Blood transfusions save lives and transform health for millions across the world, and right here at home. Patients are dependent on people donating blood, platelets and plasma every day. Whether it is platelets for chemotherapy patients, red cells for blood disorders or burns, plasma to stop bleeding, or a combination of all three to stop bleeding in traumas, blood products are an absolutely essential part of modern healthcare.”

To donate blood you must be 17 years of age, in good health, and weigh 110 pounds. 16 year olds can donate with parental consent.

To learn more about the blood donation process, visit this page or call 661-323-4222. The public can also support the Missing Type Campaign on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram using the hashtag #MissingType. For more information call 661-616-2500.

Erskine Fire Thanks

We received the lovely thank you note below from the First Baptist Church of Lake Isabella for the goods we collected and sent their way in the aftermath of the Erskine Fire. Diapers, hygiene items, snacks, camping equipment, clothes, shoes, pet food, books and games were just some of the goods collected and delivered to the church which was on the front line serving evacuees.  We had to cancel our June 28th drive there because all church spaces were completely full of well-organized supplies to serve resident needs.

We look forward to being back for the Lake Isabella Community Blood Drive on August 23rd from 12 noon to 6:00 pm. Thank you to all who donated goods for the fire survivors!



Margaret Delfino Passes Away at 97

Margaret 25 gallons

Margaret was a media sensation when she was the first local woman to donate 25 gallons of blood on June 25, 2009.

Long time blood donor Margaret Delfino passed away recently at 97 years of age after never completely recovering from open heart surgery.

According to her obituary: “Margaret had a passion for donating blood at Houchin Community Blood Bank. She was once featured on CNN when at 90 years old she donated her 200th pint. . . She held the record for most blood donated by a woman in Kern County for many years. As proud as she was of her record she was even prouder at the number of family members and others she coerced into becoming regular donors.”

delfino-gives again

Margaret is welcomed back by CEO Greg Gallion after she beat cancer and was able to donate blood again on December 18, 2006.

The petite donor, who stood just 4 feet, 11 inches tall and weighed in at 115 pounds, was the first blood donor at the new Bolthouse Donor Center when she was 94. This also marked her last pint donated for a total of 218 donations, for more than 27 gallons in her lifetime.

Margaret celebrated many a landmark donation at Houchin. She was able to give blood again in 2006 following a five-year absence after undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer, and it was a press event when she reached the 25 gallon mark at the age of 90. “It’s a testament to her commitment to this community,” CEO Greg Gallion said at the time. “It’s a testament to a remarkable woman.”

Greg Margaret and Carlena

CEO Greg Gallion and Registered Nurse Carlena Russom congratulate Margaret Delfino for being the first donor in the new Bolthouse Donor Center on February 11, 2013.

According to Registered Nurse Carlena Russom, who was on hand to take Delfino’s blood on various big occasions: “Just (her) commitment, the life-long dedication to me it’s just, it’s hard to find these days. She’s just an inspiration.” Margaret began donating prior to 1954.

In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate blood donations made to Houchin Blood Bank in her memory using Fund Number 771.

All photos from TBC Media.

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!

Hot Fudge Sundae Drive

We have no mobile drives scheduled on Monday, July 25, 2016 to help bring in the 100 pints of blood and 30 units of platelets needed every day to meet patient needs, so it is crucial that donors to come into the two Bakersfield donor centers that day. O+ and O- blood are the biggest needs.

nationalhotfudgesundaydayTo encourage donations, we will be celebrating National Hot Fudge Sundae Day from 9 am to 6 pm at 5901 Truxtun Avenue and 11515 Bolthouse Drive.  All donors will receive a free make your own sundae, and can enter to win a year of Cold Stone Creamery sundaes.  Platelet donors will be given two chances to win the year of sundaes.  Other incentives include a free Olympic themed t-shirt, and a coupon for a free individual cheese or pepperoni pizza from Rusty’s Pizza.  All July donors are automatically entered to win $500 in Cold Cash from SC Communications, Inc.

“There are so many extra reasons NOT to give blood during the summer months,” said Carola Enriquez, Director of Community Development at Houchin. “We have been finding lots of regular donors out of town for vacations, so really need to appeal to people still in town to come in and save lives.”  Only 38% of the population is eligible to give blood and only 10% of those do, so new donors are always encouraged to give blood donation a try.

Blood donors must be in good health, weigh 110 pounds, and be 17 years of age or older, or 16 with parental consent.  A photo ID with date of birth is all that is needed to start saving lives. More information about blood donation is available at 661-323-4222.  Platelet donors must have an appointment, but blood donors can walk in to either donor center.


Rusty’s Pizza Month is Back

Rusty's GirlRusty’s Pizza is a long time supporter of blood donation in our community. Our friends at Rusty’s provide coupons for a free individual cheese or pepperoni pizza to each donor in the months of January, April, July, and October each year. The coupons are good at any of Rusty’s nine convenient locations.This is an amazing commitment to recognizing our blood donors unmatched in the industry!

Rustys-LogoSince its beginning, Rusty’s has been involved in the community with a strong emphasis on children through school programs and youth organizations. Student blood donors also get the individual pizza coupons at school blood drives all year. We appreciate Rusty’s sense of community and support of blood donation. Thank you Rusty’s Pizza!


10th Annual Community Wide Blood Drive

The 10th Annual Community Wide Blood Drive takes place from Friday, July 29 to Saturday, August 13, 2016 to make sure there is enough blood for our patients during the last month of summer vacation. Thanks to our presenting sponsors San Joaquin Community Hospital and Kaiser Permanente, donors at the blood bank and on all mobile drives will be entered to win a Grand Prize Disney Vacation, as well as 10 days of $100 COOL Cash giveaways during the drive!

SJCH & KP stack tagAccording to Jimmy Phillips, Executive Director Marketing/Communications, San Joaquin Community Hospital: “There is nothing more essential to life than the blood that flows through each of our bodies. The donors who generously give of themselves so that others may live is one of the most generous and selfless gifts possible. San Joaquin Community Hospital is proud to support Houchin Blood Bank on the annual Community Wide Blood Drive and we encourage everyone to get involved.”


Account Managers Joy Invina and Tracy Hunter with KGET’s Kevin Charette before the kick off of the Community Wide Blood Drive.

“As a healthcare provider, Kaiser Permanente recognizes the importance of having an adequate blood supply in our community.  We are excited to sponsor the Community Wide Blood Drive and would like to thank all the donors who unselfishly give and encourage others to donate to help those that might need a gift of life,” says Eva Ramirez, Senior Communications Specialist, Kaiser Permanente.

For more information or to make an appointment click here or call 661-616-2505. A toll-free number is also available: 877-364-5844.
The Community wide Blood Drive kicks off on Friday, July 29th with a 13 hour mobile drive sponsored by KGET 17 from 5 am to 6 pm at its new “Compassion Corner” location at 20th and L Street, just North of the KGET Studios. The ongoing commitment of the television station to the event received the national Media Partner of the Year Award in 2014 from America’s Blood Centers.

Erskine Fire Blood Drive

Erskine fire three locationsLake Isabella Blood Drive Relocated in Bakersfield to Seek Replacement Blood and Erskine Fire Recovery Supplies

Our regular blood drive serving the Kern River Valley at the First Baptist Church in Lake Isabella on Tuesday, June 28, has been diverted to Bakersfield because the church is in the forefront of offering care and support to people and animals affected by the Erskine Fire.

It is still crucial to the local blood supply that we collect the blood that the Kern River Valley cannot provide at this time of crisis, so the blood drive has been relocated to 1215 Truxtun Avenue, on the plaza behind and between the Kern County Administrative Center and the County Courts building.  Two-hour public parking is located east of L Street and in the parking garage on N Street. At the event, we will also collect goods needed by the First Baptist Church to continue their work with fire victims.

The public is invited to donate blood and specified goods at these Bakersfield locations:

  • Kern County Administrative Center Mobile, behind 1115 Truxtun Avenue, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Truxtun Donor Center, 5901 Truxtun Avenue, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Bolthouse Donor Center, 11515 Bolthouse Drive, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

Houchin will be collecting these items specifically needed by the First Baptist Church to continue their work with people and animals affected by the Erskine Fire.   These items are:

  • pet food, pet toys and pet comfort items including towels
  • shoes
  • baby diapers
  • hygiene items
  • blankets
  • non perishable food
  • blankets, pillows and sleeping bags
  • books, crossword puzzles, games

Donated goods will be transported to the church to aid in the recovery efforts.  Cash donations can also be made payable to the Houchin Community Foundation, which will forward donations to the church for ongoing relief efforts.

Mick GleasonMick Gleason, District 1 Supervisor representing the Kern River Valley affected by the fire, and current Kern County Board of Supervisors Chairman, said the County of Kern Administration Office is pleased to be able to offer a new location for this blood drive.

“I am gratified that Houchin is aiding our efforts to help the victims of this terrible tragedy,” Supervisor Gleason said. “And since Houchin is saving lives every day throughout Kern County, we’re encouraging County employees and anyone else in the community to come to the Administrative Center to give blood or other needed donations.”

We appreciate the County’s willingness to host this displaced drive so our efforts to collect blood in advance of the three day 4th of July holiday can be maximized.