February Donor: Wesley Wilson

Wesley Wilson first started donating blood at 16 years old when he was a student at Ridgeview High School! Wesley says, “My blood type is O Negative, I know it’s important because it is the universal blood type. I just try to give when I can so that I can help the most people that I can.” Wesley recently switched over to an automated donation procedure where he is able to save the most lives and give the blood products that are best for his height, weight, and blood type. Wesley was able to donate a unit of red cells, a platelet, and a plasma! His donation will save and help in more ways than the average whole blood donation.

Wesley enjoys playing golf during his time off and spending time with his wife.  Wesley is a tattoo aficionado. He explained that the tattoo he has on his inner arm is a tribute to his late mother, and the tattoo on his outer arm is a tribute to his father as well as his family. He was happy to find out that people are now able to donate blood only seven days after getting a tattoo. He is excited to be able to continue getting awesome tattoos and still being able to donate blood, platelets, and plasma. Wesley encourages everyone that can, to donate blood. He says, “Its worth it. You can help people when they need it the most, and if you ever need it, there will be someone else that is able to help you.”

Give N Go with CSU Bakersfield!

California State University Bakersfield Athletics 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 3rd to 17th, 2018.

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 any game, any sport, at CSUB through May 31, 2018. CSUB alumni, students and staff are encouraged to roll up their sleeves and make a donation during the drive. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to support our Runners!

Price is Right for Donor Jack Hood

Jack Hood knew exactly how to get on the Price is Right:  make a t-shirt that said he was a 94-year-old blood and platelet donor at Houchin Community Blood Bank.  It worked! Jack will be appearing on the show airing January 5, 2018 at 10:00 am. His bright blue and pink shirt said: 94 YEARS OLD, Still Donating Blood to Houchin Blood Bank, Blood . . .22 Gallons, Platelets & Plasma . . .226.

Jack really wanted to try to get on the popular show again, since he didn’t make the final cut 10 years ago.  He was confident that his age and status as a blood donor would get him noticed, and he was the very first potential contestant selected!

Although he didn’t win much, Jack says he had a good time doing the show and hopes people seeing his shirt will “give some blood” themselves.  He says while he likes Houchin’s motto that “People Live When People Give”, but his personal motto is “You’re never too old to give”. He loves knowing that old blood is as good as new blood, and anyone, no matter what ethic group, can give and save a life.  “Any blood is good blood” according to Jack.

Houchin is proud to have Jack Hood as a treasured donor who exemplifies the spirit of saving lives through blood, platelet, and plasma donations.  It is particularly fitting that Jack’s appearance on the Price is Right will kick off January as National Blood Donor Month.  “Knowing Jack, his appearance will be enthusiastic and energetic.  We hope seeing a man of his age advocating the lifesaving properties of blood and platelet donations will encourage others to try his “fountain of youth”, said Greg Gallion, President and CEO of Houchin Community Blood Bank.


January Donor: Frank Buoni

Frank Buoni had been trying to reach his next gallon milestone for a few weeks but his iron was always just a tad bit low. Finally on December 21st, Frank celebrated his 10th gallon donation at our Bolthouse Donor Center! Donating 10 gallons of blood is no small feat. It takes years of commitment and perseverance.

Frank has many friends here at Houchin, both old and new. Three members of our staff went to Bakersfield High School with Frank, and it  was one of his old classmates that encouraged him to start donating years back. Since then, Frank has devoted time to donating regularly.

Frank encourages others to step up to the plate and save lives. Frank says he wants people to know that donating blood is important because  “It feels good to help people in need!” During his free time, Frank enjoys farming, hunting, making wine, and spending time with his family. We appreciate Frank’s commitment to saving lives and giving back to his community!

iGive So Others Live. Resolve to Get Fit and Save Lives!

Blood donation can be part of an ongoing healthy lifestyle. Not only do blood products save lives every day in hospitals county wide, but volunteer donors benefit from the “mini physical” they receive each time they donate. From the blood pressure check to the finger stick to the cholesterol results, each of these tests helps ensure a healthy person is donating for others.

In an effort to encourage blood donation during National Blood Donor Month, Kern Family Health Care is once again offering a great, health-enhancing donor prize as we Resolve to Get Fit and Save Lives together in January 2018. All donors can enter to win an Apple iWatch Series 2 every week in January!

Kern Family LogoAccording to CEO Doug Hayward: “Kern Family Health Care recognizes the importance of donating blood. As the largest health plan in Kern County, we know that our members rely on blood products being available when they are needed. We are proud to partner with Houchin Community Blood Bank to promote blood donations to ensure an adequate supply of blood and blood products in our community.” Kern Family Health Care is dedicated to improving the health status of its members through an integrated managed health care delivery system.

Get a move on your New Year resolutions and  Resolve to Get Fit and Save Lives in 2018! See you at one of our donor centers soon.

January is Rusty’s Pizza Month

What better way to celebrate the New Year and National Blood Donor Month than by picking up a coupon for a free individual cheese or pepperoni pizza when you save lives with us during January.

 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!

National Blood Donor Month 2018

January has been celebrated as National Blood Donor Month since 1970, to recognize the importance of giving blood, platelets, and plasma while honoring those who roll up a sleeve to help patients in need. We encourage people to join us as lifesaving blood, platelet and plasma donors.  These products cannot be manufactured, they can only come from willing volunteers.  January donors will receive a coupon for a free individual pizza from Rusty’s Pizza and can enter to win a monthly drawing for one of four Apple iWatch Series 2 courtesy of Kern Family Health Care.

HashtagJanuary is a great month to take action to help others by donating needed blood products. The biggest needs are O-, platelets of all kinds, and AB plasma, which are the products that can go to anyone in a life threatening emergency. They are also needed by the new local neonatal care facilities, serving the needs of the most fragile newborns and their worried families. Platelets of all types are needed daily to keep up with the growing need to support cancer patients undergoing cutting edge treatments now available in Bakersfield.

Donors are asked to share a selfie this month with the hashtag #americasgotblood on social media to participate in a national effort to applaud donors by Americas Blood Centers (ABC) and its partner blood centers like Houchin.

BloodPostBlood donors can give every 56 days, but those who donate platelets and plasma through automated donation have the opportunity to help more people by giving more products more often. Platelet donors can give 24 times a year and plasma donors can give 12 times a year. Call us at 661-616-2505 for more information on giving blood, platelets, and plasma, to make an appointment or to inquire about your blood type. Thanks for being a donor!

Sweetheart Package EAKC Prize

2017 Winner: Michelle Nixon-Machado, accompanied by her daughter, with Tim Kounter of Bakersfield Senior Placement at Log Cabin Florist, with the lovely prize package seen on the table behind them.

January’s Executives’ Association of Kern County Monthly Donor Prize is a Sweetheart Package, sponsored by Tim Kounter, Placement Service Director with Bakersfield Senior Placement. This exciting donor prize is a complete gift from the heart for someone special featuring gift certificates for the following:

Wouldn’t that make for a great date with that special someone? All January donors will automatically be entered to win.  The winner will be chosen in early February, so the gift could brighten an anniversary, Valentine’s Day, birthday or other special occasion in the months ahead.

seniorplacementlogoBakersfield Senior Placement is a division of Interim HealthCare, a leading provider of licensed & skilled in-home health care providers and nurse staffing services in Kern County since 1994. Tim Kounter guides families through the maze of senior living options for Bakersfield and surrounding communities at no charge. Tim is also a dedicated donor who says, ” I see all Tim Kounterthe reasons that prohibit people from donating, and am thankful I am not disqualified for one reason or another. On rare occasion, when I see the pictures of near empty shelves of blood that Houchin posts, I pray no one is in need until that type is replenished.” Blood donation is a family affair at the Kounter house and it brings Tim a lot of joy to see his own children doing their part. Thank you for your dedication to our mission Tim and for the generous sponsorship for January.

One of the personal touches Tim brings to those he places is a red rose delivered to their new home.  Below you will find photographs of many of these seniors enjoying Tim’s gift.



2017 EAKC Drawing Thanks!

Thanks to the generous support of the Executives’ Association of Kern County, or EAKC, every month in 2017 donors were entered to win a great prize. Fun prizes and drawings can help us attract new donors and encourage a donor to come back. The monthly winners of the EAKC prizes and their sponsors are featured in the photos below.

For December, Skinsation provided a fabulous gift basket of services and supplies designed to help create a New You in the New Year! The basket is valued at over $500 and contains Lipotropic/Fat Burner and B12 injections, as well as a gift card so the winner can choose additional services. At press time the winner had not been chosen, so check out our Facebook page for the lucky donor.

EAKC members are the best in their business category, offering quality goods and services throughout Bakersfield and Kern County. Each business holds integrity, loyalty, and mutual respect in high regard. EAKC businesses are strong supporters of our mission, with many long time blood donors in the group. We truly appreciate the Executives’ Association of Kern County’s continued support!

Take a look at the 2017 winners:

Holiday Hours

We have special holiday hours on Friday, December 15 from 9 AM to 4 PM at both locations, and will be closed on Monday, December 25, 2017 and on New Year’s Day, Monday, January 1, 2018. Unfortunately, the need for blood, platelets and plasma does not take vacations, so we hope to see our dedicated donors in before and after the holidays.

We are thankful for all our donors and wish you and yours a very happy holidays!