Target Your Blood Type

This October we ask our donors to target their blood type! Each blood type has the potential to save many lives, so we take this month as an opportunity to teach our donors about their blood type and encourage them to donate in a way that helps maximize the lifesaving potential of their donation. Donors who choose to get their platelet count tested during their donation will receive a coupon for a FREE Pint of Baskin Robbins Ice Cream! All donors targeting their blood type this month enter to win a $500 Target gift card thanks to our EAKC Monthly Prize sponsor, Barrett Business Services Incorporated (BBSI).

Recently Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico braced for three hurricanes that left blood products supplies low in the affected areas. That was followed by the tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas. In all cases, the needs for platelets went on long after the red blood cell needs were met, as this fragile blood component lasts only 5 days. The right stores of platelets, plasma and red cells are all needed to be able to cover local needs and help in such emergency situations.

Our donor centers will have “Target Your Blood Type” information booklets that hold information about each blood type and the most effective components of your blood that can be used to save patient lives. For some donors this may mean donating platelets and plasma, for others, it could mean donating whole blood. Targeting your blood type will unlock the true potential of your donation’s ability to save lives and keep our county’s supply of lifesaving blood components. We hope that you will join us in saving lives this October during our Target Your Blood Type Campaign.

BBSI Sponsors October EAKC Prize

save-livesWe vampires are at it again:  “Ve Vant your blood” in October! Thanks to the Executives’ Association of Kern County (EAKC) there is a drawing for a $500 shopping spree at Target courtesy of Barrett Business Services, Inc., or BBSI. It’s not at all scary to enter to win this great Target gift card. Just donate blood, platelets, or plasma at either of our donor centers or most mobile drives anytime in October. Be sure to fill in an entry blank to get in on this treat drawing!

BBSI has served small and medium-sized businesses in the greater Bakersfield area since 2005, by providing payroll services, as well as human resources, workers compensation, safety and risk management consulting.  According to the company:

“We are providers of Business Management Solutions for small businesses. We deliver expertise, guidance and tactical support that allow owners to run their business more effectively. In order to do that, we operate under a unique business model; we combine the tools-based approach of human resource outsourcing with the knowledge-based approach of professional management consulting to create an integrated management platform. This platform helps our clients leverage their internal resources more effectively to operate with maximum efficiency.”

To learn more or speak with a BBSI professional call 661-377-1060 and ask for Jeff or Patrick.



October is Rusty’s Pizza Month

Rusty's GirlDid you know October is National Pizza Month? What better way to celebrate than by picking up a coupon for a free individual cheese or pepperoni pizza when you save lives with us this month.

 Rusty’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!

9th Annual Sickle Cell Awareness Blood Drive

On Saturday, September 16, 2017 Houchin Community Blood Bank will host a blood drive from 8 am to 2 pm at the Bolthouse Donor Center in conjunction with the Hina Patel Foundation for Sickle Cell Disease, to honor Hina Patel, a young woman who lost her life to sickle cell disease. Her story and the registration information for the event can be found at

Sickle Cell disease is the most common genetic disease in the United States. It affects more that 100,000 people in the nation. It originated in Africa, but the disease especially affects people with ancestors from Africa, India, Central and South America, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and Mediterranean nations like Italy, Greece, France and Turkey.

sickle_cellSickle cell disease is a genetically inherited blood disorder that is caused by a mutation in the gene that makes hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the molecule in red blood cells that assists in the transportation of oxygen through the body. This recessive mutation causes red blood cells to become hard, sticky, and “sickle” shaped instead of the normal smooth, round shape. Consequently, blood has difficulty flowing through the capillary system. These misshaped cells form clumps and block blood vessels causing circulation problems leading to severe pain, damage to blood vessels and organs, and in some cases, death. The median life expectancy for men with sickle cell disease is 40 years and for women it is 45 years.

Christina has sickle cell disease and needs blood transfusions provided by our donors regularly.

There is no cure for Sickle Cell disease, but there are treatments. One of the most common treatments is regular blood transfusions, which can help decrease the risks of stroke, damage to major organs, and other severe complications. Since this disease does occur more frequently in people of certain ethnic backgrounds, blood typing for transfusions is very important. When patients receive blood transfusions from donors with the same blood type and antigens, they tend to have a better chance of survival.

Sickle Cell Awareness MonthWe encourage participation in this important educational event, so that more members of our community are aware of the devastating effects of the disease and the need for a diverse donor base. Sickle Cell patients depend on people like you to provide the consistent blood transfusions necessary in their fight to live, so please join us and the Hina Patel Foundation on Saturday, September 16, 2017 to help bid “Farewell to Sickle Cell” by participating in the fair, the walk/run, or the blood drive at our Bolthouse Donor Center.

Fair Wristband Blood Drive 2017

wristbandThanks to our returning sponsor, Le Beau-Thelen LLP, the popular fair wristband blood drive is back. Give Blood, It’s the Fairest Thing to Do is the theme of the four day drive, and from Saturday, September 16th through Wednesday, September 20th at the donor centers only, donors can enter to win coupons which are good for a carnival ride wristband, as well as an adult pass to the Kern County Fair. There are 12 coupon packs a day!The fair runs from September 20th – October 1st, so be sure to schedule your appointment to give during this drive today! Free adult admission passes to the Fair will be available to all donors while very limited supplies last.

Kern County Fair carnival wristbands are valued at $30 each if purchased at the fair, or $25 in advance. They are good for all rides, all day for any one day at the fair. They do not include admission or parking to the fair and there are height and other restrictions that can limit ride admission. Winners will be announced daily, with 12 winners every day. Winners are required to pick up their prize by Friday, September 22nd by 12pm at out Bolthouse Donor Center or forfeit their prize.

Le BeLe Beau-Thelen LLP is recognized as one of the most successful civil practice firms in Central California. The firm has a reputation for providing creative and practical legal advice coupled with zealous advocacy. Le Beau Thelen jumped at the opportunity to sponsor such a popular blood drive among Houchin donors, and have shown support in our mission by hosting a number of successful blood drives at their firm. We extend a big thanks to Le Beau Thelen for their support of blood banking in our community by making this annual event for donors possible.

Recycle Life Blood Drive

Kern Schools LogoBlood products are the ultimate renewable resource, so Kern Schools Federal Credit Union is sponsoring a Recycle Life Blood Drive, kicking off on Saturday, September 23rd and leading up to the semi-annual Kern Schools Community Recycling Day on Saturday, September 30 from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm. Community Recycling Day is located at 15000 Bolthouse Drive, across from our Bolthouse Donor Center, so drop off your recycling and then recycle a pint with us from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm at both donor centers. Thanks to Kern Schools, donors during the week-long drive can enter to win a four pack of tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood, good through December 31, 2017!

Recycle LifeVolunteer blood donors are stewards of the precious natural resources they possess: blood, platelets and plasma. Donating blood products can be a great opportunity to practice the three Rs: Reduce (the need for blood), Reuse (what you’ve got) and Recycle (what you can). Much like conventional recycling, it’s easy to do and can have far-reaching benefits. When it comes to recycling, donating blood is one of the best things you can do in one hour! We appreciate Kern Schools partnering with us on this blood drive in conjunction with their Community Recycling Day.

Universal Studios Hollywood is located in Universal City, CA, and is the home is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!  Kern Schools is your discounted amusement park headquarters, and you can find out about member discounts here. Click on the link for more information on what will be accepted during Kern Schools Community Recycling Day.


September EAKC Prize: Condors Suite

Condors vs StocktonIt’s almost hockey season in CondorsTown, and the Condors’ 20th anniversary, so the Executives’ Association of Kern County Monthly Prize for September is exclusive use of a suite for 12-18 people during the opening days of the new Condors season in October or November. The Bakersfield Condors will host the San Antonio Rampage on Dignity Health Home Ice at Rabobank Arena  for the Condors home opener on Thursday, October 12 at 6:30 p.m.The exact suite is subject to availability based on the game chosen, but there are a number of great suite options.

Condors LogoCondors hockey offers exciting American Hockey League action at every game. The Condors are the top development team of the Edmonton Oilers, with the very best prospects playing right here in Bakersfield. Stats from last season include:

  • Final record: 33-29-5-1, 5th place, Pacific Division
  • Condors to play in the NHL: 13
  • Largest crowd: 12,330 on January 7th 2017

Condors CommunityThe Condors have established deep roots in the community. A Wounded Hero is honored at every home game, provide game experiences for at risk youth, and offer programs that reward good attendance and grades for students. The Condors have raised over $5 million in cash, goods and services over the team’s history. The organization is part of the fabric of our community, with mascots and players participating in events throughout the year.

Visit one of our donor centers or mobile drives in September to enter to enter to win your very own AHL hockey party, and cheer on the Bakersfield Condors as they continue to make their mark on the AHL. For an updated Condors game schedule click here.

Week of Remembrance 2017

911 AnniversarySeptember 11, 2017 marks the 16th anniversary of tragic loss and sadness for the United States. To honor the memory and sacrifice of the victims and first responders, we set a week aside near September 11 each year as our Week of Remembrance. This year the Week of Remembrance will start on Monday, September 11 through Friday, September 15. Donors can chose to participate at either donor center and five mobile drives around Kern County. This is a great week to get started with blood donation, reconfirm your commitment to donation, or donate in honor of the first responders who serve us all every day.

It is particularly fitting that we kick off the week with a mobile blood drive at the Kern County Fire Department’s Training Facility off Olive Drive on Monday September 11, from 1:30 to 5:30 pm, and have a mid-week drive not far from the Bakersfield Fire Department 9/11 World Trade Center Memorial, dedicated just a year ago, at Sully’s Chevron at White Lane and Buena Vista Road from 3-7 pm on Wednesday, September 13.  Donors can enter to win one of 5 $100 Chevron Gas Cards at that drive. We will also have drives in Tehachapi on Tuesday, Delano on Thursday, and Arvin on Friday. A full list of public drives is available here.

Blood on shelfSeptember 11, 2001 started off as a normal day at Houchin, but as the attack on our nation began to unfold, a shocked public eager to help lined up to donate blood.  As this scene played out across the nation, more blood was collected than was ultimately needed. Now blood banks stress that the blood on the shelves is what saves lives. People need to commit to give regularly so that a tested and ready supply is available at all times.

When you think about it, blood donors are part of the first responder team in any emergency requiring blood products.  We never know when blood, platelets or plasma will be needed, so we must stay ready for the call, just like any other first responder.

Pint for a Pass Blood Drive Returns!

The Kern County Fair partners with us once again for the fifth annual Pint for a Pass Blood Drive, from August 14 to September 9, 2017. Donors at both donor centers AND mobile drives receive a FREE adult admission pass to this year’s Kern County Fair! All there is to do is roll up a sleeve and donate a pint of blood, platelets or plasma to receive your “Ticket to Fun”. Donors can also enter to win a grand prize four-pack to the Fair. The Grand Prize includes parking, admission and ride wristbands.

The Great Kern County Fair of 2017 runs from September 20th to October 1st.  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 have a lot of fun at the Great Kern County Fair!

August Donor: Elijah Fernandez

Elijah Fernandez is an incoming senior at Centennial High School. Although he has only had two opportunities to donate at school, he has gone above and beyond and made sure to donate outside of school as well. Elijah is 17-years-old and and he has already donated four times, at this pace he will graduate from high school having reached his first gallon milestone and be a Gallon Grad!

Elijah plans on applying to college this fall. He is excited for his senior year where he will be involved in sports all year long with cross country in the fall, wrestling in the winter, and tennis in the spring! Elijah not only donates blood but he also donates his time to his community by staying an active member of his High School’s Interact Club!

Elijah donates blood because it gives him an opportunity to help others in a short amount of time. He likes knowing that his donation helps another person directly, and that he is able to make a difference. We wish Elijah the best of luck in his final year of high school and hope that his story will inspire other young people to become donors!