Jamba Juice Day to Kickoff June

Kick-off June by donating blood on Jamba Juice Day, Saturday, June 3rd. Every donor will receive a coupon for a delicious 16 ounce smoothie at both donor centers from 8 am to 2 pm, and at a special mobile drive at the Jamba Juice store located at 9360 Rosedale Highway from 10 am to 2 pm. Coupons are available while supplies last, so make an appointment for this great day of giving to save lives as the summer gets underway.

Only volunteer donors can give blood, and we rely on 100 people a day to keep up with patient needs.  Summer is a tough time to collect blood products as regular donors are traveling, caring for kids out of school, and just enjoying the season. We appreciate Jamba Juice for recognizing this need and hosting this popular annual drive.

Catch the Wave of Giving

Summer T-shirts will be available beginning Wednesday, June 7. The shirt features a surfing vibe this year urging others to “Catch the Wave of Giving – Donate Blood”. Quantities are limited, so we urge donors to take one only if they will personally wear the shirt publically to encourage others to donate during the summer months.

People who wear our shirts are “walking billboards” for blood donation.  Donors often mention that seeing a Houchin T-shirt reminded them to donate, so the shirts truly are a valuable marketing tool when worn. We appreciate every donor who proudly wears their Houchin shirts to the gym or store, helping to share our lifesaving mission with the public.  After all, People Live When People Give.

Check out this awesome video made by Wall Street Imprintables featuring our shirt!

Priceless Gift for Someone Special

The most personal gift anyone can give is the gift of life. Thanks to a generous local business, Houchin Community Blood Bank can present each donor with a Mother’s Day gift to share. The gift is a full size sparkling nail polish from Kiara Sky Professional Nails, packaged by Houchin staff for gift giving with a tag that reads: “I saved lives in honor of Mother’s Day.” The gift will be available to donors at both donor centers, 5901 Truxtun Avenue and 11515 Bolthouse Drive in Bakersfield from through Wednesday, May 17, 2017.  The most needed blood products are O-, O+ and A- blood, AB plasma and platelets of any kind. Appointments are needed for plasma and platelet appointments, but not for blood donations.

The Kiara Sky Professional Nail Lacquer gift is translucent with red and holographic glitter which can be used alone or over other colors and is manufactured here in Bakersfield. “The color is Lava at First Sight, but we think of it as Lifesaving Red” said Carola Enriquez, Director of Community Development.  “Donations have been really slow this week, and we appreciate Kiara Sky thinking of our donors first with the discontinued stock,” she continued.  Houchin is truly the only place to get this very personal gift for Mom, and the only cost is a little time spent donating for patients in need.

Kiara Sky nail products are made right here in Bakersfield.  According to Vanessa Hagglund, Public Relations: “We saw the color to be discontinued and immediately thought of Houchin for a donation”. We are glad they did, so plan to come in to save lives while supplies of this very fun gift last!

Public Relations

ATV Accident Almost Takes Life

Ashley App was a typical teen active in 4-H, showing animals at the Kern County Fair, and participating in horse shows all over Kern County. She attended North High School where she was an honor roll student, played softball, and was Future Farmers of America President her senior year.  She was also a member of the High School Motorsports Team, reportedly able to do anything the young men could do, sometimes better. She attended Taft College, graduating with her AA and AS degrees in 2008.  She planned to return to school to become a dental hygienist, but a tragic accident almost took her life in 2009.

Originally just a pleasure rider on ATVs, Ashley began racing competitively at the Taft Arena Cross Competitions, and had been doing so for 4 years. She had her first accident there in 2008. She was flown  to Kern Medical, with a broken collar bone, lung contusions and a concussion. She was back to work in a week.  A little over a month later, the last of the series races was coming up, and Ashley convinced everyone she would ride her quad just to finish, not to compete, so she could keep her points and potentially come away with the Quad C class champion, which she did.

Ashley then began racing all over California, and she just loved it. Unfortunately, Ashley wrecked April 1, 2009 while practicing at a local track, and this time she was not so lucky. Ashley’s quad flipped, throwing her to the ground with her quad coming down front bumper first on her head. The impact split her helmet in two. Once again Ashley was airlifted to KMC, this time with traumatic head injuries. Truly, her life was on the line and her chance of survival slim, but survive she did.

Ashley was in a coma for more than two weeks at Kern Medical, and eventually transferred to Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital where she stayed for 15 days. When she arrived, she couldn’t walk or talk. One half of her hair was shaved off to insert a bolt to measure swelling inside her head. She came home with a tracheotomy and her mouth wired shut.
Thanks to excellent medical care, the support of a caring family and friends, and blood products that were on the shelf when needed, Ashley made a full recovery. She was back on a horse about 5 months after her wreck.
One year after the accident,  Ashley wanted to visit everyone who was involved with saving her life. She visited the fire-station that responded, the Hall Ambulance Medevac crew, the Highway Patrol, and Kern Medical staff to thank them for their efforts.
Ashley is now married to Matt McConn, and the mother of Zane and Kimber. She, and her whole family, including her mother Lori Jauch who is our May Donor of the Month, are very grateful to blood donors for being there for Ashley in 2009. Ashley says: “It’s very important to donate! I had never donated prior to my wreck, but working as a contractor for Chevron, I began donating on the mobile bus. After my wreck, I donate every time I can because I feel I used so much blood needed to give it back.”

May Donor – Lori Jauch

We have a great mother-daughter donor story for Mother’s Day Month. Donor Lori Jauch feels very fortunate to be able to hold grandchildren she almost didn’t have.  Her 21-year-old daughter, Ashley App McConn, was practicing on her quad going over a huge table top jump eight years ago, when an unfortunate accident occurred.

The quad broke on take-off causing it to send her over the handlebars, eventually landing on her head.  She was medevaced out on life support and in a coma for 14 days.  She spent 30 days in the hospital, then needed rehab.  She needed several pints of blood while hospitalized. Read more about Ashley’s road to recovery here. Lori was thrilled to be able to show Ashley the foal born when she was in a coma once she got better.

After Ashley was fully recovered, Lori decided to start giving back to others in need.  She reports “We are truly blessed.  She’s now married with two kids. Donating is very important to all of us. The staff is so friendly. Thanks for all you do!!”

Lori enjoys travel, horseback riding, gardening and photography, but her greatest joy is spending time with family, especially her grandchildren.

We thank you for being a blood donor Lori!

Mobile Drive Hosts Needed

We are always looking for new mobile drives, particularly those that can take place when high schools are out of session.  We have a limited number of buses and staff to assign to drives, so we must work out the schedule well in advance with interested partners. We provide posters and other marketing materials, plus donation education materials to encourage successful mobile drives.

Churches, businesses, schools, clubs, organizations and events are all good candidates for a mobile drive.  The main requirement is to have an enthusiastic chairperson to organize the drive and about 35 or more volunteers who want to donate blood at the drive location.  The mobile drive can be completely done on the mobile bus, which carries it’s own electric generators.  All that is needed at the mobile location is a relatively flat space of about 6 parking spaces for the bus to park near access to a restroom.

Ready to learn more?  Just fill in the brief questionnaire below.


Rapid EGGscape on the Kern

Please plan to make a lifesaving donation during The Great EGGscape! Each day during Spring Break, donors will be automatically entered to win a local EGGscape, and have a chance at the week’s grand prize Nintendo Switch.

Our EGGscape for Thursday, April 13 is a fabulous 10 mile rafting trip for the winner on the Upper Kern River with White Water Voyages. Whitewater Voyages is donating two spaces for a mid-week (Monday-Friday) Upper Kern, Class IV, One Day “Snap, Crackle and Pop” whitewater rafting trip. The value of the donation is $332.80, so the winner may call to reserve this specific escape, or apply the value to any of the trips White Water Voyages will be running on the Kern River during the 2017 rafting season. With this winter’s bountiful snowpack, the Upper Kern season will be very long this year. These trips should be available from the month of April through mid-August.  Now that’s an escape!

This day trip includes transportation from the meeting point to the beginning of the trip, which will include several different sections of the Upper Kern, beginning with a stretch that is not overwhelming and gradually working up to stretches packed with sheer heart-thumping excitement. A bountiful lunch along the river and cold beverage at the end are included.

Since 1975, more people have chosen Whitewater Voyages for their rafting adventure, making them California’s largest, most experienced whitewater rafting outfitter. Thank you White Water Voyages for providing this great donor prize during The Great EGGscape!

Note: The trip cannot be redeemed for its cash value and will expire at the conclusion of the 2017 Kern River rafting season.


EGGscape to the Movies

Please plan to make a life saving donation during The Great EGGscape! Each day during Spring Break, donors will be automatically entered to win a local EGGscape, and have a chance at the week’s grand prize Nintendo Switch.

Our EGGscape for Saturday, April 15 is a $50 Gift Card to the Maya Cinemas.  The winner can escape to the latest movies with popcorn and a drink in hand.

Thank you to an anonymous donor for providing this great donor prize during The Great EGGscape!

EGGscape Challenge

Please plan to make a lifesaving donation during The Great EGGscape! Each day during Spring Break, donors will be automatically entered to win a local EGGscape, and have a chance at the week’s grand prize Nintendo Switch.

Our EGGscape for Wednesday, April 12, 2017 is six passes to the Bakersfield Escape Room, a chance to “escape your normal”. An Escape Room is a physical adventure game where participants are placed into a room and have to use teamwork along with elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles, find clues, and escape the room within a set time limit. Each room is themed and has a unique storyline that engages the players through their environment. There are four themed rooms to chose from:  R.E.S.C.U.E., Crimson Storm, Winter Fall and Knight & Rook. The experiences take from 45 minutes to one hour.  According to the Bakersfield Californian: “If you are looking for a fun and thrilling experience in town, then look no further. The Bakersfield Escape Room has enough thrills, excitement and thought-provoking fun for you and all of your friends.”

The Bakersfield Escape Room opened in November 2015 at 3616 Coffee Road, Suite C. Besides the escape room experiences for 2-6 players, they specialize in corporate team building. At Bakersfield Escape Room, groups are placed in an immersive scenario and challenged to achieve a common goal before the time runs out. The escape room exercise creates a memorable experience that leaves a lasting impact long after the event. The scenarios presented not only encourage teamwork but require it, creating a unique opportunity to observe individual behaviors, contributions and team dynamics.

Thank you Bakersfield Escape Room for providing this great donor prize during The Great EGGscape!

Laser EGGscape at Firehouse

Please plan to make a life saving donation during The Great EGGscape! Each day during Spring Break, donors will be automatically entered to win a local EGGscape, and have a chance at the week’s grand prize Nintendo Switch.

Our EGGscape for Friday, April 14, 2017 is a fabulous experience at Firehouse which includes one hour of bowling for up to 6 guests, two one topping pizzas, and six non-alcoholic beverages.  The certificate can be redeemed at the 77701 White Lane location or the new 2905 Calloway Drive location in Rosedale.

Both Firehouse locations offer the hippest Bowling experience in town, with regulation sized bowling lanes featuring a laser show, fog machine, integrated state of the art audio and video, and Hi-Def flat screens throughout. Full service food and beverage service is available at the lanes and throughout the entertainment and bar areas. In addition to bowling, Firehouse offers a diverse dining menu, pool tables, darts, sports viewing, and an arcade. The arcade features Foosball and Shuffleboard, plus a wide selection of racing and shooting games.

Thank you Firehouse for providing this great donor prize during The Great EGGscape!