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.

February Donor: Brooke Hanson

Pregnant with twins at 39 weeks, Brooke Hanson was eager to meet her new babies and hold them in her arms. Little did she know her world was about to be turned upside down, and her life almost ended.

Brooke delivered two beautiful 8 pound baby boys, which she got to hold only briefly before a wave of pain shot through her. She handed the babies over to the nearest nurse and rapidly became unresponsive as her blood pressure plummeted. Brooke had suffered a ruptured aneurysm in her splenic artery. Fortunately for Brooke, she was immediately taken into surgery where seven units of blood helped save her life. Brooke says, “I thank the donors who saved my life and allowed me to be a mother to my children and a wife to my husband.”

Brooke encourages everyone that is able to donate to do so, because everyday lives like her’s can be saved but only if the blood products that can only come from volunteer donors are available. Today, she is committed to donating blood regularly, and to bringing in new donors. Thank you Brooke, for telling your story and inspiring others to donate and save lives.

Sweetheart Package

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:

  • $100 for dinner out at Cafe Med
  • $100 with Massage by Karen
  • $100 with Log Cabin Florist
  •  $200 gift card to Stockdale Jewelers

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 home health, assisted care, 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 February.

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


2016 EAKC Drawing Thanks!

Thanks to the generous support of the Executives’ Association of Kern County, or EAKC, every month in 2016 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 we have two Giving Trees, one for each donor center. The trees are covered in ornaments representing gift certificates and cards provided by numerous EAKC members: Sorci Construction, BBSI, Inc., Log Cabin Florist, Mahalo Pool Care, Alcorn Aire, AUM Physical Therapy, Stockdale Country Club, and Black and Sterling.  The tree winners will be announced on Facebook in January 2017.

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 last year’s winners:

National Blood Donor Month

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. To celebrate, January donors can get a free Just Donate t-shirt to help encourage others 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 also receive a coupon for a free individual pizza from Rusty’s and can enter to win a monthly drawing for a Tom Tom Spark Fitness Tracker 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- and O- blood 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. Why not show off your new shirt when you take one?

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!

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!