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.

Ashley Furniture Day at Houchin

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Donors will receive this awesome Ashley-Sleep memory foam pillow when they donate!

We are proud to partner with the Bakersfield Ashley Furniture HomeStore®  on Saturday, June 25, 2016. This is our fifth blood drive together, and based on prior success, the drive should kick our summer donations up! Although the need for blood never takes a vacation, our donors do and that makes it harder for people to find time to give blood. Special blood drives like this one at Ashley Furniture Homestore® help ensure a stable blood supply to offset this seasonal decline.

The Ashley Furniture HomeStore® mobile blood drive will be held at its Bakersfield location, 8915 Rosedale Highway, from 10 am – 2 pm. Donors there, or at either donor center all day, will receive a coupon for a free Ashley Sleep Contour Pillow and a 25% off coupon for merchandise at the Ashley Furniture Homestore® while supplies last. The pillow coupon must be redeemed at the store. Also at the mobile drive, donors will receive a coupon for a FREE Route 44 Big Drink thanks to Sonic and a buy one, get one free voucher for a Bakersfield Blaze home game courtesy of the Blaze. There’s a convenient Sonic right next to our mobile drive at the Ashley Furniture HomeStore®. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at 661-616-2505. You can also make an appointment online.

HomeStoreLogoAshley Furniture has always had a proud sense of its history and the wisdom to know what made it great. Ashley Furniture continues to strive to enhance its communities by working to improve their infrastructure and community services. Locally owned Ashley Furniture HomeStores® are extremely active in their communities supporting many nonprofit organizations. Thank you for supporting ours!

Feel the Beat on World Donor Day

To honor those who “give” around the world, Nexcare Bandages has developed a limited-edition collection of bandages with the theme “Feel the Beat, Give Blood,” featuring five vibrant music and dance-inspired designs reflecting different styles and cultures from around the globe. Packages of the limited-edition bandages will be available at the donor centers and mobile drives from June 13-18 while supplies last in nexcarecelebration of World Blood Donor Day on June 14, 2016. Nexcare is committed to making blood donation a national priority as shown by this annual recognition of blood donors worldwide.

Nexcare’s annual support for World Blood Donor Day is explained in this video. Donors can pledge to give as part of World Blood Donor Day and take part in the effort by using the hashtag #GiveInspires with donation photos posted to social media.  Why not take part in this international effort by taking a selfie in your Olympics themed Houchin summer t-shirt and use the hashtag?  No needles please in your photo submissions.

High School Blood Drive 2016

High School Luncheon 2016 050At the end of each school year, Houchin Community Blood Bank hosts an elegant luncheon to recognize high schools contributing the most blood during the year.  This year the theme of the High School Appreciation Luncheon was “Life’s Sweet”.

The schools 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 45 units with a class size of 4.  Small school winner was Frazier Mountain High School with 194% of their class size participating, collecting a total of 128 units. Medium school winner was Cesar Chavez High School which collected 178 units for 66% of their class size. Large school winner was West High School collecting 119% of their class size with a total of 496 units.

High School Luncheon 2016 068“The Extra Mile Award”, now in its second year, was presented to Stockdale High School, for bringing in 188 donors into the donor centers. The award, sponsored by Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, was presented by Michael George, Senior Vice President of Operations and Marketing.  Each “Houchin Ambassador” student at Stockdale received a $50.00 gift card from Kern Schools for their efforts. Stockdale High School also won for the most units being donated during the crucial summer months in 2015. 98 donors came into either donor center crediting Stockdale High, and collectively high schools donated 1,107 units at the donor centers.   Over all, high schools came together to hold 56 blood drives, collecting 6,462 units of blood. Their donations possibly saved as many as 19,386 lives. High school blood drives represent over 20% of Houchin’s total blood supply.

Each participating school, received a custom engraved “Life’s Sweet” award and a signature Houchin Community Blood Bank license plate featuring the number of gallons of blood each school has collected in total during their years of participation in the Blood Drive Challenge. 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.  Elias Daniel Maldonado, a senior from Golden Valley High School, was the key speaker. He spoke from the heart about being an ambassador and how blood donors helped a member of his own family.

High School Luncheon 2016 007Other 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, McDonalds, Rusty’s Pizza, Wall Street Imprintables, and Sonic Drive In. It was also reported that the Gallon Grad Program, welcomed in 157 students, who met the challenge of donating 8 times to achieve the one gallon mark.  Each received a card to track their donations, license plate frame, key chain and an awesome letter from our CEO at the time their achievement was reached.  Each will be entered to win one of two $250 scholarships provided by Kern Schools. The winners will be notified later in May.

BJs Restaurant Day is Back

WebGet your Pizookie® on Saturday, June 11th! 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.

Calling Olympic Donors

IMG_20160524_104327528 (1)Summer t-shirts are now available for donors at both donor centers and at mobile drives while supplies last.  We try to order enough for a full 8 week donation cycle. Because our donors are Olympic level contributors to our community, we are celebrating the Summer Olympics through our summer t-shirt in 2016.  The high quality shirt has that bright summer in Rio vibe, with a cool dated sleeve, and is sure to look great at the gym, on the beach, or just around town.  It will be truly fun to wear during the Olympics later this summer, so be sure to come in while your size is in stock.

IMG_8957We appreciate everyone who serves as a billboard for blood donation by wearing the free t-shirts we provide donors twice a year.  We recently found racks of our t-shirts at a thrift store for sale at a fraction of what they cost us to produce for you, so we urge donors not to take a shirt if they won’t be wearing it to assist our marketing efforts. The cost of t-shirts is by far the largest share of our nonprofit marketing budget. Thank you for helping us spread the word of the importance of blood donation, and as the back of the shirt says: let the donations begin!

Wizarding World for Lucky Donor

wizarding-worldThanks to Tracy Frith, Loan Officer at Summit Financial Services, the Executives’ Association of Kern County Monthly Prize for June is four passes to Universal Studios Hollywood to visit the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Although the new attraction has only been open a couple of months, everyone who has been so far has really loved it. There are no forms to fill out to enter, we do a random drawing from all the donors at both donor centers and all the mobile drives to choose the June winner.

Tracy Frith PhotoTracy is a long time member of the Executives’ Association of Kern County. She has been a local Mortgage Broker since 1995 and holds both a California Real Estate License and an NMLS license. She is a past member of the Active 20/30 Club, Women’s Council of Realtors, was on the 2014 and 2015 Committee for the Bakersfield Association of Realtors Wine Tasting and Auction, plus an active Board Member of the Real Estate Professionals Family Relief Fund. Tracy offers all types of Residential Financing including FHA, Conventional, VA and Construction Loans.  Her strong attention to detail provides for a stress free transaction. If you are thinking about refinancing or purchasing a new home, and looking for great service, Tracy can be reached at tracy@gotosummitfinancial.com or 661-472-0932.

Condors Sponsor Hamburger Day

national-hamburger-day-may-28National Hamburger Day is Saturday, May 28th, and thanks to the Bakersfield Condors each donor at the donor centers will receive a coupon for a free hamburger from 8 am to 2 pm! Donors have the choice of either a Carl’s Jr. Western Bacon Cheeseburger or a Jumbo Jack from Jack in the Box.  We need to ensure there are enough blood products on the shelves to get us through the Memorial Day Weekend since we will be closed on Sunday and Monday.

Condors TicketsThat Saturday is also the last day of the Freedom Week Blood Drive, when donors can vote for their favorite branch of the armed forces while also entering to win a fabulous $2000 trip to anywhere sponsored by Setton Farms.   There is nothing more All-American than a hamburger on Memorial Day weekend, so be sure to get yours while supporting patients with a blood, platelet or plasma donation compliments of the Condors.

It is not too early to dream of the next season of exciting hockey in Condorstown. Season passes are on sale now!

May Donor Michaela Sims

Miss Bakersfield 2016 Brooke Oscarson, Joslynn Skelton with daughter Charlie, and Mrs. Bakersfield 2016 Michaela Sims participating in a February blood drive honoring Baby Charlie.

In late 2013, Michaela Sims found herself sitting next to Joslynn Jarrett-Skelton, who, like herself, was pregnant with a little girl. Joslynn’s excitment did not match her own, because she had recently learned that her unborn little girl had Hypo-plastic Left Heart Syndrome. When Joslynn shared her story with Michaela, It changed her world as a future mother and blood donor.

Michaela had always been encouraged by her mother, a 4 Gallon Donor, to donate, but her fear of needles prevented her from making the leap. With some encouragement, she finally rolled up her sleeve and donated in 2011 at the Bakersfield Police Department Blood Drive. After her first donation, Michaela learned that she was O negative, CMV negative, which meant she was the universal blood donor and her blood could also be given to newborn babies. This discovery changed the way Michaela viewed blood donation, especially after the birth of Charlie Skeleton and her own child, Cecilia Sims.

11707628_10155885833580220_860721853230752023_nMichaela closely follows Charlie’s journey and recently donated during the American Heart Association Hearts United Blood drive. When asked why she continues to donate, Michaela thinks back to Joslynn and her daughter, Charlie Skeleton. She hopes that her simple donation can make a difference in the lives of patients like Charlie. As the universal blood donor, Michaela makes an effort to donate every 8 weeks in order to ensure patients, like baby Charlie, will always have an adequate blood supply. To people who have not donated before, Michaela asks that they picture themselves in the shoes of patients in need of blood products or in the families of sick children, parents, and other loved ones. If a few minutes of your time, could save someone’s life, why not? When the time comes, Michaela hopes her own daughter will follow her lead and give blood donation a try.

In her spare time, Michaela enjoys scrapbooking, yarning, teaching fitness classes at In-Shape and Total Woman, volunteering, and spending time with her 2-year-old daughter. She is also the reigning Mrs. Bakersfield for 2016.

Gear Up For Summer with EAKC

30551PR_SS_120709SummerMoneyWith the last days of the school year upon us, summer vacation is on everyone’s mind. Let us help you prepare for your next beach trip. Just visit a donor center or mobile drive during May to automatically be entered to win the Executives’ Association of Kern County Monthly Drawing for $500 cash, sponsored by Mahalo Pool Care and Alcorn Aire, Inc!

Mahalo Pool Care is a professional and reliable pool service company. This family 6430mahalo_logoowned business is completely in tune with pool owner needs and concerns. Mahalo knows that besides the wish for a crystal clear pool, their customers want a healthy and enjoyable environment for their families. Owner Erik Straub is a trima donor who really appreciates each donor’s time in the chair.

AlcornAireLogosizedAlcorn Aire, Inc. is a family owned and operated company providing heating and air conditioning sales, service, and support for business and residential buildings. Alcorn’s primary goal  is to provide clients with a healthy indoor environment, comfort, safety and energy efficiency through their heating and air conditioning services. They stand behind the quality service of their skilled technicians, and they know their customers will be satisfied with their service. Alcorn is proud to support blood donation in our community.

Mahalo Pool Care  and Alcorn Aire, Inc have been strong supporters of Houchin Community Blood Bank and our community, and we thank them for making May’s EAKC Monthly Prize possible!