Mom Tells of Transfusion Miracle

Donor Victoria Garza shared the story of why she donates with us. Her reason is her son Adam, who is featured as our patient of the month for August. After a complicated pregnancy, Adam was born with a birth defect, Gastroschisis.  His intestines and part of his liver were developed on the outside of his body leaving a big hole in his abdomen.  After two surgeries, his recovery was still very rough.  He needed and received a blood transfusion. According to Victoria:  “After the transfusion, his recovery and health improved so fast!”

Adam, is now 5 years old and he is the reason Victoria donates.  She says: “Because somewhere out there is a person in need of a little help.  And it’s my way of helping and thanking others who donate.”

Adam is no stranger to blood donation, because according to Victoria, “I bring my son with me every time I donate.  He loves to meet everyone, enjoy a snack and accompany me while we save life.”

We appreciate Victoria sharing her story and allowing us to meet Adam, whose life truly hung in the balance in need of the transfusion only donors can provide. Maybe you will run into Victoria and Adam during your donation!

If you have a story to share, just do what Victoria did, and let us know about it here.

August EAKC Prize is a Winner

Mortgage Broker Tracy Frith provides a fabulous prize one month each year as the Executives’ Association of Kern County prize.  This year she has the month of August and has come up with this International Flavors Tree, loaded with gift cards. The winner can enjoy all the gift cards or share them with family or friends. There are no forms to fill out to enter to win, as we do a random drawing from all the donors at both donor centers and all the mobile drives to choose the winner.

Tracy is a long time member of the Executives’ Association of Kern County. She prides herself on providing “Relationships beyond Lending”, and has been a local Mortgage Broker since 1995. She 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 or 661-472-0932.

2nd Annual Sundae Celebration

Tuesday, July 25th is National Hot Fudge Sundae Day and we are celebrating with make your own sundae stations at both donor centers from 9 am to 6 pm while supplies last.  Directions to the donor centers located at 5901 Truxtun Avenue and 11515 Bolthouse Drive in Bakersfield are available here.  This is the second year the blood bank has provided sundae makings to celebrate the lifesaving contributions of the summer donors coming in that day.

Platelet donors are desperately needed of all blood types to help meet local patient needs. O+ and O- are the most needed blood types nationwide with a summer shortage continuing. AB blood is needed only for plasma and platelet donations. Appointments at the donor centers are necessary for platelet and plasma donations, but whole blood donors are encouraged to just walk in. The appointment hotline is 616-2505, or click here for an online appointment form.

People should not presume they cannot donate blood for many common ailments such as diabetes and high blood pressure.  There are very few medicines and conditions which keep someone from donating, which you can see here. People with questions about donation can call 323-4222 for more information

Group Gives are Welcome

We are looking for small groups of friends, co-workers, family members, youth groups or any team of people 16 and over who would like to donate blood together to help us fill the ongoing need for blood products. Although it is completely optional, groups of 8 or more can try to give a gallon at one time and be entered into our Gr8 Givers Gallon Club.

We appreciate the opportunity to let Donor Services staff know that a group is coming in, so if you can plan ahead, contact Community Development at 616-2500 or We can send you advance information on getting ready for donation, and help you select a time when we will be fully staffed so we can get you in the chairs as soon as possible.

One of our recent group gives came from the office of Dr. Tadej and Dr. Baker’s Orthodontics Office, as shown above.  We appreciated working with Vanessa Ogle on that June 16th drive. The ladies hope to organize a mobile drive or try for the gallon club when they are next eligible.

Luis Cruz organized a second group give by employees of the Tommy Hilfiger Store at the Outlets of Tejon on June 16th. They came after work, and posed for a group photo to share with corporate to illustrate their generous support to the local community’s blood needs.

July 2017 Donor – Sheila Ross

Sheila Ross got started donating with her husband Robert, and was on the verge of making her 10th gallon in June.  She was sad that Bob was unable to achieve his goal of the 10 gallon club as illness made him unable to give the last 6 pints.  Even though he died 12 years ago, Sheila wanted to find a way for him to achieve that goal, so she invited friends and family to help.

On Saturday, June 17, 2017 Sheila organized the Bob Ross Memorial Blood Drive and 14 people signed up to donate in Bob’s honor.  Nine were successful, so this was our latest group to make a gallon donation at one time,  so her group is now the latest member of our Gr8 Giver Gallon Club.

Sheila will have a photograph of she and Bob as a couple added to our 10 Gallon Walls at the Truxtun Donor Center. Sheila says, “If it wasn’t for my husband, I probably wouldn’t be a regular blood donor. He got me started at Houchin and encouraged me to donate often.”

Bob and Sheila met when she was hired by his public accounting firm of Ryan & Ross. Bob’s partner, Nancy Ryan, made Sheila an offer she couldn’t refuse when she was offere the position as a partner in the firm. The CPA partnership didn’t last long but it was just the beginning of the partnership for Bob and Sheila, who were married in July 1993.

When she is not donating blood, Sheila enjoys volunteering. As a CPA, she has often served as Treasurer for many non-profits. She is a 30 year, and first female, member of the Exchange Club of Bakersfield and also a Past President. Sheila has also served as Treasurer for the Funeral Consumers of Kern County and the Model T Ford Club of Kern County.
Besides volunteering, Sheila enjoys traveling. To her dismay, many of her travels put her on the deferred donor list for 12 months or she would have reached 10 gallons a few years earlier. Sheila always came back to donating though and her 10 gallon achievement, and the boost she gave Bob so he could join her in the 10 Gallon Club, are greatly appreciated.

Pint for a Pint Blood Drive

July is National Ice Cream Month and we are celebrating with a free pint of Baskin-Robbins ice cream for our donor center donors. We call it the Pint for a Pint Blood Drive! Just come into either donor center from July 1 to July 15 for your coupon while supplies last.  The coupon actually details three offers: one free hand packed pint of your choice, $1.00 off a medium beverage, and $3.00 off any cake valued at $15 or more,

According to Mohammed Nayani, Operations Manager for the four Bakersfield Baskin-Robbins locations: “We are happy to be able to celebrate National Ice Cream Month with the Pint for a Pint Blood Drive at Houchin Community Blood Bank.  We are committed to our community and proud to be of service to the local blood supply during the summer.”

Bakersfield Baskin-Robbins locations are at 5460 Stockdale Highway, 2110 White Lane, and 2673 Fashion Place.  There is also a drive through location at 7695 White Lane. Pint for a Pint coupons can be redeemed at any location.

Baskin-Robbins is the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops, providing guests with a wide array of ice cream flavors and delicious treats at more than 7,800 retail shops in more than 50 countries around the world. Baskin-Robbins has more than 1,300 ice creams in its flavor library, and also offers custom ice cream cakes, frozen beverages and the Polar Pizza® Ice Cream Treat.

Lions Clubs Honor Trice Harvey with Drive

Local Lions Clubs are joining together to celebrate the late Trice Harvey’s birthday on Saturday, July 15, 2017.  Donors can come to either donor center from 8 am to 2 pm to enter to win $50 each hour, plus there will be a $25 Costco Gift Card awarded at each donor center. Lions Club members will be on hand at the Bolthouse Donor Center to say thanks and offer a slice of cake to donors. Trice Harvey was a regular O- baby donor with 26 gallons of blood donated.  He was a regular at the blood bank until his death. Trice was a County Supervisor for western Kern County including Taft and a State Assemblyman.

Trice’s family will also be holding an anniversary blood drive at the Truxtun Donor Center on Saturday, August 5, 2017 from 8 am to 2 pm to celebrate the long marriage of Jacque and Trice Harvey for those who can’t make the Lions Event. What a wonderful tribute to such an active donor and supporter of blood banking in our community!

Twin’s Life Saved by Blood

Stacie Chamblee delivered twins, and one was only 1 pound 10 ounces at birth. Not too long after having the babies, she and her husband were taken in to say their goodbyes to one of the twins. The little one had blood coming out of her nose and mouth, and the situation was very grim.

The doctors were ready to give up on trying to save the baby, even though they had one unit of blood left to give her.  One of the nurses insisted on making one last effort to include giving the baby the additional blood. That effort worked,  and Stacie was finally able to hold Jamaica when she was about 6 weeks old.

That last unit of blood, great care, and prayers are what the family credits with saving the life of Jamaica, who is now a wonderful 11 year old! Stacie urges others to remember the importance of saving the lives of premature infants and help insure the blood products they need are ready and able to save another life.

6th Annual Two Tickets to Paradise Blood Drive

Grab your sunhat and flip flops, the Two Tickets to Paradise Blood Drive returns for a sixth year, thanks to our sponsor, SC Communications, Inc. Donors that visit one of our donor centers or mobile drives between Monday, July 17 to Saturday, July 23, 2017 can enter to win a taste of “Island Time” with a vacation for two to Catalina Island, an island paradise perfect for relaxation or adventure, or a little of both. Just an hour’s time from the mainland, Catalina Island has clear blue sunny skies and cool ocean breezes, so it’s close, yet a world away. The adventurous can go ziplining, parasailing, diving, snorkeling or seatrekking, kayaking, hiking or biking.  The less adventurous can explore Catalina’s abundant marine life on glass bottom boats and undersea semi-submersible tours.

Our sponsor will also host an “Island Time Social” on Thursday, July 20th at the Truxtun Donor Center from 5-7 pm. This social will feature delicious light appetizers and an island vibe. Members of the Executives’ Association of Kern County (EAKC) have been invited to participate in the social and donate blood products. EAKC member businesses have been providing a monthly prize for our donors since January 2014. And SC Communications is also sponsoring the July prize of $500 in COLD CASH.

scSC Communications, Inc. has been the forerunner of quality wireless solutions for businesses, families and special events around Kern County since 1993, providing business telephone systems and repair, quality communications, excellent service, and a sense of community. Friendly service and support are the company’s hallmark, making it the number one source for communications systems for the southern San Joaquin Valley.We appreciate their support of blood donation in our community!

Donors are Cool this July

Donors are really cool people! To recognize this, one lucky July donor will win the Executives’ Association of Kern County Monthly Prize which is $500 in COLD CASH thanks to SC Communications, Inc. To enter, simply roll up your sleeve and donate during July.

SC Communications, Inc. has been an EAKC member for decades. The company prides itself on providing good quality communications, excellent service, and a sense of community. Since 1993, they have been in the forefront of quality wireless communications in the southern San Joaquin Valley, providing wireless solutions to many businesses, families, and special events around Kern County. Business telephone systems and repair, telecommunications, state-wide radio coverage, GPS tracking, data cabling, mission critical dispatch systems, radio towers, and SC-Communications-vectortelecommunications repair and service are just some of the services they can provide.

Asked why SC Communications, Inc. supports blood donation, Owner Jamie Hastings, says ” ”Kern County is an amazingly giving community.  If we can help save just one life, we are more than happy to continue to sponsor such an important event every year.”  SC Communications, Inc. is also sponsoring the 6th Annual Two Tickets to Paradise Blood Drive  and an Island Time Social this month.

Thank you SC Communications, Inc. for your long time support of blood donation in our community!