Celebrate Memorial Day with Veterans Tribute

From Armed Forces Day on Saturday, May 20 through Saturday, May 27 during Memorial Day Weekend, donors will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite branch of the Armed Services during Freedom Week, our seventh annual week-long celebration of our military. One lucky donor will win the Freedom Week Flyaway, a $2,000 travel voucher to a destination of your choice! The trip is sponsored by Setton Farms, the local producer of “America’s Best Tasting Pistachios”.

Donors can enjoy a free kick-off BBQ on Saturday, May 20th from 10 am to 2 pm, sponsored by the Bread of Life BBQ Ministry at the Truxtun Donor Center. We hope to see both regular and new volunteers come in to donate throughout Freedom Week to celebrate the men and women who serve, or have served, our country in the military. What a great way to recognize our veterans as well as personally serve our community between Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day each year!

Setton Farms - America's Favorite Pistachios - California PistachiosWe appreciate the ongoing support of Setton Farms for our Freedom Week Blood DriveSetton Farms learned long ago that producing the best pistachio nuts starts with the growing process. Their orchards follow the most strict cultivation standards and maintain one of the most sophisticated food safety programs. As a family owned and operated pistachio company since the mid 1980s, they attend to each detail of the pistachio growing process. Setton Farms’ continuous improvement and perfection of that growing process has made them the industry leader in the development of this important local crop. We appreciate their ongoing recognition of the valuable contributions of our local blood, platelet and plasma donors through the sponsorship of our annual Freedom Week by sponsoring this fabulous donor prize.

2017 Summer Pledge Drive

The fourth annual Summer Pledge Drive takes place from May 1 to September 30, 2017. Donors have the opportunity to save lives and also enter to win some fun prizes all summer long.  Cash and prizes of all kinds will be added throughout the drive.  Check back regularly for updates to the list below and to see who has won!

If your business, club or organization would like to provide a prize for the Summer Pledge Drive, contact Community Development at 661-616-2500 or info@hcbb.com. There is plenty of time to get involved!

When you come in to donate you can opt into the Summer pledge drive. You then become part of the Summer Pledge donor mailing list which will keep you updated as new prizes are added to the selection. Each donation visit counts as one entry for the Summer Pledge Drive drawings, so be sure to maximize your entries by coming in regularly during the summer when the need for blood, platelets and plasma does not take a vacation. A blood donor can donate three times during this period, and a platelet or plasma donor could get in many more entries.

We hope to see you often this summer!

It’s in the Cards to Save Lives in May

Did you ever stop to consider your blood, platelet or plasma donation “stacks the deck” in favor of a patient recovering?  If a person needs blood products, a transfusion is truly like hitting the jackpot. Be sure to stop in during May with your donation at either donor center or a mobile blood drive to beautomatically entered to win the Executives’ Association of Kern County Monthly Drawing for $500 cash, sponsored by Mahalo Pool Care and Alcorn Aire, Inc! That’s a fine “payout” for one lucky donor.  Donors can double their chances of winning if they book a return appointment in the canteen before leaving.

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!

Royal Gold Club Dinner 2017

Donors enjoying the delicious Hodel’s country style buffet.

The 2017 Gold Club Dinner was held at Hodel’s on Saturday, March 18th and it was a Royal Affair! Two hundred eighty four donors gave gold products on our trima machines at least 6 times in 2016 for an invitation for themselves and a guest to the dinner.

Grand Mistress of Ceremonies, Tracy Hunter, welcomed everyone present to the Royal themed dinner, then, President and CEO, Greg Gallion provided those present with Houchin’s year in review. This was followed by a county style buffet to be feasted upon to the last bit of apple pie.

Clarke Pippert and his mom Josie Pippert are all smiles at the Gold Club Dinner!

After dinner, Clarke Pippert, one of our youngest platelet donors, spoke about why he donates and how he hopes to inspire others his age to do the same. Following Clarke’s remarks, Joslynn Jarret-Skelton, Mother of Charlie, a heart surgery survivor, gave a heartfelt keynote address. Joslynn spoke about Charlie’s struggle to survive since before the day she was born and how platelets and plasma have saved her life.

Joslynn and Charlie up on stage right before the emotive speech.

Charlie, at just six days old she had her first of 3 life saving open heart surgeries.Charlie was born missing the left side of her heart. She has hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Her 2nd open heart surgery was when she was 5 months and over the past 2.5 years she has had 6 other surgical procedures. Blood donation has become a very important part of Charlie‘s journey, she has had more blood transfusions than most and with her 3rd open heart surgery coming up this July. With each open heart surgery Charlie needs 2-6 units of blood and platelets, and depending on her recovery could require more transfusions after. Charlie was this year’s heart ambassador in February and she has hosted three blood drives to help promote the importance of blood products that are needed for preemies and babies like Charlie. Charlie is a happy and charismatic little girl, she is courageous!

A Gold Club drawing ended the evening, a drawing took place and twenty one lucky donor’s took home gift cards and certificates to continue celebrating at a later date! Thanks to generous donations each guest took home pistachios provided by Gold Club Member, Gary Ketchell, and Rold Gold pretzels compliments of Gold Club Member Mike MayoJason Armijo and Frito Lay. The tote bags were provided compliments of Gold Club members, Rick Isle. James Goodman donated the ten Hodel’s Dinner for two certificates for the raffle. Terumo BCT was recognized for a cash contribution to the evening, and the following businesses were recognized for providing monthly Gold Club prizes in 2016:

  • The Home Depot
  • The Broken Yolk
  • BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
  • Firehouse
  • Kern Schools Federal Credit Union
  • Salt 7 Even
  • Wiki’s Wine Dive & Grill
  • Sam’s Club

You can access more photographs of the Gold Club Dinner at our Facebook Album.

For information on how you can attend the 2018 Gold Club Dinner, call Peggy Smith at 661-616-2540.

April Donor: Cheryl Isaac

Cheryl Isaac became a blood donor 19 years ago. Her husband, then boyfriend, was a regular donor so one day she decided to give it a go and donate with him. Cheryl and her husband made a date out of their donation day. They donated together every eight weeks and would conclude the evening by getting a milkshake. Who would think being a blood donor could be so romantic?

Today, Cheryl continues to donate, however she now donates platelets and plasma. Our telerecruiting department can always count on her to come in to donate when an urgent need is present. Cheryl loves her community and wishes to help others, especially those in greatest need. She says, “It is nice to be able to do something for your community.  Sometimes you feel helpless when you can’t help those suffering but this is one way you can. It takes a little bit more time, but it’s worth it because the sickest people benefit from it.”

Cheryl was one of the attendees of this year’s Gold Club Dinner, meaning she donated platelets more than 6 times last year. She actually donated 13 times! She encourages others to strive to reach 6 donations in 2017 to be invited to the next platelet dinner with a guest. Every year a platelet recipient tells the story of their survival thanks to their donations. Cheryl says, “The dinner is great because you get to put faces to people who receive the products you donated.”

Thank you Cheryl for being a noble human being and for giving up your time and cells to save the lives of others. For this and more, you are deserving of being donor of the month!


March Donor: Patrick Clary

Patrick Clary’s first time donating was on the day he applied for a job at Houchin Community Blood Bank. Patrick was hired in the distribution department shortly after and he has been saving lives ever since. Today he is the Manager of Materials and Blood Inventory here at Houchin.

Patrick gets on the trima machine to donate platelets frequently, especially on days when platelet appointments are low and the demand by hospitals is high. Patrick has donated 835 units of platelets and one gallon of whole blood. Patrick says, “I strongly believe that we must practice what we preach, this is one of the reasons I donate.  It doesn’t feel right for me to ask others to donate if I don’t do it myself.”

Patrick remembers a day when he noticed that the bag of platelets he was about to deliver to a local hospital was the very bag he donated just a couple of days earlier. When he delivered the bag he found out the recipient was a four year old boy battling cancer. Ten years later he found out that the boy survived! His donated platelets played a role in this little boy’s recovery.

Patrick urges people to remember that these donations save the lives of real people of all ages. He says, “If you wait, it may be too late.  It’s the blood that is on the shelves now that can save a life today. Don’t wait until a tragedy strikes to be compelled to donate, because by then it may be too late.” He wishes those able to donate would become regular donors. Those able to donate include people with controlled diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension, and other non-blood borne illnesses. As Patrick says, “In this world, we are all family, so let’s help each other out.”

February Shopping Spree Prize

Thanks to the Tommy Hilfiger Store at the Outlets at Tejon, and our friends at the Executives’ Association of Kern County, we have a great prize for one lucky February donor.  February’s prize is a $300 Shopping Spree centered around a $125 Gift Card to the Tommy Hilfiger Store, plus the following items from EAKC members:

  • $100 CASH, Cathi Guerrero, Black and Sterling
  • $25 Starbucks Card, Susan Greer, Stockdale Country Club
  • $25 Gas Card, Friend of Houchin
  • $25 Subway Gift Card , Friend of Houchin

What a great prize to win just in time to do some spring shopping!

Houchin is a long time member of the EAKC, which prides itself on having only the best local businesses as members.  The full member directory is available here for download.

The friendly staff from Tommy Hilfiger at the Tejon Outlets, came into our Bolthouse Drive donor center to donate in January! Although they are not part of the EAKC, they were so excited about what we do here at Houchin they wanted to help make February extra fun for our donors and so provided the gift card to their store featuring one of the world’s leading designer lifestyle brands recognized for celebrating the essence of classic American cool style featuring “preppy with a twist” designs. EAKC members thought they’d support that wonderful prize with extra cash and cards to make the trip to the Outlets at Tejon a full day experience for the lucky winner.

We appreciate these business owners for supporting blood banking in our community by supporting the February EAKC Prize!

Give “Right From The Heart” Blood Drive

The crowd cheers as the lights dim and Blake Shelton walks on stage with a red guitar in his right hand, and with his left he points straight at you! If you want this experience for FREE, donate during our Give “Right From The Heart” Blood Drive from February 1st through the 14th. You can enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the Blake Shelton Concert on February 16th at the Rabobank Arena. Don’t have a date, take a friend or family member. We can’t guarantee Blake will point right at you, but either way you will have a lot of fun!

Don’t forget that Gold Club donors can enter the drawing TWICE, so call ahead and make an appointment during the drive at 661-616-2505 or click here. You can donate at a mobile blood drive or either donor center to enter the drawing. So, what are you waiting for? Come on down and donate!



Give N Go with CSUB!

California State University Bakersfield’s Athletic’s Department is once again sponsoring the annual CSUB Give n Go Blood Drive to celebrate another great season of Division I Basketball. This year’s drive will be held from February 11th to 25th.

All donors can enter to win a $100 Visa Gift Card provided by the CSUB sports fans at Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, plus all donors will receive a voucher to attend a basketball game at the Icardo Center on campus. The Give N Go vouchers are good for any men’s or women’s basketball game between February 11 and March 4, 2017.  So that includes the Men’s games on February 11, 23, 25 or March 4, and the Women’s games on February 16 and 18, 2017. CSUB students and staff are encouraged to roll up their sleeves and make blood donation their New Year’s resolution. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to support our Runners!

5th Annual Jessica Ann Cooper Memorial Blood Drive

cooperjaWallace & Smith General Contractors are inviting their employees, subcontractors, suppliers and all who knew Jessica Ann Cooper to participate in the fifth annual Jessica Ann Cooper Memorial Blood Drive by donating blood at either donor center February, 27th and 28th. To participate, credit group code 970.

According to her father, Paul R. Cooper, Vice President, Wallace & Smith: “Jessica was a vibrant, talented and beautiful person both inside and out.  With her kind heart and infectious smile she could lift anyone when they were feeling low.  Sadly on February 28, 2002 her life was cut short and her vibrancy was dimmed too early.  Although she is not with us, her memory lives on today through many stories from those whose life she touched.   We have decided to honor her memory with the gift of life through a blood drive in her name. We ask that if she touched your life in one way or another, that you join us in giving the true gift of life at Houchin Community Blood Bank. Who knows whose life you may have an impact on, but we know that Jessica would be proud to see the good that is generated in her memory.”

Walk-ins are welcome at either donor center during the drive, but for an appointment call 661-616-2505 or click here.