Rusty’s Pizza Month is Back

Rusty's GirlRusty’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!


10th Annual Community Wide Blood Drive

The 10th Annual Community Wide Blood Drive takes place from Friday, July 29 to Saturday, August 13, 2016 to make sure there is enough blood for our patients during the last month of summer vacation. Thanks to our presenting sponsors San Joaquin Community Hospital and Kaiser Permanente, donors at the blood bank and on all mobile drives will be entered to win a Grand Prize Disney Vacation, as well as 10 days of $100 COOL Cash giveaways during the drive!

SJCH & KP stack tagAccording to Jimmy Phillips, Executive Director Marketing/Communications, San Joaquin Community Hospital: “There is nothing more essential to life than the blood that flows through each of our bodies. The donors who generously give of themselves so that others may live is one of the most generous and selfless gifts possible. San Joaquin Community Hospital is proud to support Houchin Blood Bank on the annual Community Wide Blood Drive and we encourage everyone to get involved.”


Account Managers Joy Invina and Tracy Hunter with KGET’s Kevin Charette before the kick off of the Community Wide Blood Drive.

“As a healthcare provider, Kaiser Permanente recognizes the importance of having an adequate blood supply in our community.  We are excited to sponsor the Community Wide Blood Drive and would like to thank all the donors who unselfishly give and encourage others to donate to help those that might need a gift of life,” says Eva Ramirez, Senior Communications Specialist, Kaiser Permanente.

For more information or to make an appointment click here or call 661-616-2505. A toll-free number is also available: 877-364-5844.
The Community wide Blood Drive kicks off on Friday, July 29th with a 13 hour mobile drive sponsored by KGET 17 from 5 am to 6 pm at its new “Compassion Corner” location at 20th and L Street, just North of the KGET Studios. The ongoing commitment of the television station to the event received the national Media Partner of the Year Award in 2014 from America’s Blood Centers.

July Donor of the Month

10408149_10152876843014582_4605045091304227272_nLike most military men, Randy Greenlee donated his first pint of blood while serving in the 82nd Airborne Infantry. He never realized the kind of impact his blood donation had on patients in need until his father got sick. In 1985, Randy’s father was rushed to the hospital, because his kidneys were failing. For the next few months, Randy would go from Bakersfield to Santa Barbara everyday to watch his father go through over 300 units of red cells. Looking for a way to help, Randy turned to platelet donations. Randy gave his first platelet in a small room in Santa Barbra with both arms hooked up to a machine for a three hour procedure. This was just the beginning.

13533311_10153871118734582_315832057664970457_nThat same year, Randy was invited to work for Houchin Community Blood Bank as a part-time employee in the manufacturing and distribution department. He quickly became a full time employee and a dedicated donor.

Thirty years later, Randy continues to work for Houchin as the Facilities Manager with over 600 platelets and 6 gallons of blood donations under his belt. As one of the few employees who can recall the days before the Truxtun and Bolthouse Donor Center, Randy has adopted the Houchin mission statement and continues to live by it till this day. When asked what he looks forward to as a donor, Randy shares that he is looking forward to reaching higher milestones and being a part of one of the only independent blood banks in the nation that continues to stand on its own.

To encourage donors to give Trima, our automated donation system, a try, Randy says: It shouldn’t take a close family member in need to fuel your donation. People are in need of blood products all the time. Sitting in a comfortable chair for up to two hours is a cakewalk in comparison to what our local patients go through. Donating allows regular people who aren’t firefighters, police officers, or soldiers to be the hero and save someone’s life.”

In his free time, Randy enjoys spending time with his grandson and traveling. If you ever see Randy at a mobile drive or donor center, be sure to say hello. He would love to thank you for your donation.

5th Annual Two Tickets to Paradise

Relaxing-on-the-BeachGrab you sunhat and flip flops, the Two Tickets to Paradise Blood Drive returns for a fifth year, thanks to our sponsor, SC Communications, Inc. Donors that visit one of our donor centers or mobile drives between Monday, July 11 to Saturday, July 23, 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 sponsor an “Island Time Social” on Thursday, July 21st 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. Please plan to attend and say thanks!

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!

COLD Cash For a HOT July

cold cashWith the summer heat hitting its peak, wouldn’t you love some help with that mounting energy bill? Or, maybe you’d prefer a weekend getaway to a cooler climate. 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, General Manager 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 5th Annual Two Tickets to Paradise Blood Drive this month.

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

June Donor of the Month

IMG_5123As soon as Bob Kimble enters the building, he is greeted by smiles and hugs by the Houchin Staff. With 263 platelet donations and counting, Bob has become a familiar face at our donor centers. Bob first started donating blood when he was 28, while working as an intern for a local piping union. As a part of the internship, interns were required to go to school three times a week, but if they donated with Houchin they would be able to miss a day of school. From then on, Bob missed class every 8 weeks to donate.

Donating became a habit for Bob and it was during a regular visit to G street that he spotted Dan Kimm donating platelets. Bob learned from Dan the importance of donating platelets and quickly made the switch. It wasn’t until a friend’s son was diagnosed with lukemia that he realized the impact of his donation. Before the current trima machines, donors would have to sit in the chair for long hours with both arms hooked up to donate platelets. To Bob, the occasional discomfort and longer procedures were a cakewalk in comparison to what our local patients experienced.

IMG_5122Bob’s passion for donating has moved to the next generation of his family. Of his three lovely children, his son, Jason Kimble, followed in his father’s foot steps and became a trima donor in just this last year. Bob encourages others to donate and new donors to give trima donation a try. Although Bob loves the feeling of knowing he is helping our local patients, he says that the best part of the donation process is the staff, like Lori Fernandez Lopez and Erika Rios.  At 70 years old, Bob hopes to continue donating for as long as possible and looks forward to visiting his second family every two weeks.

.In his free time, Bob enjoys spending time with his granddaughter and wife, working with his hands, fishing, and staying busy.

May Donor Michaela Sims

Miss Bakersfield 2016 Brooke Oscarson, Joslynn Skelton with daughter Charlie, and Mrs. Bakersfield 2016 Michaela Sims participating in a February blood drive honoring Baby Charlie.

In late 2013, Michaela Sims found herself sitting next to Joslynn Jarrett-Skelton, who, like herself, was pregnant with a little girl. Joslynn’s excitment did not match her own, because she had recently learned that her unborn little girl had Hypo-plastic Left Heart Syndrome. When Joslynn shared her story with Michaela, It changed her world as a future mother and blood donor.

Michaela had always been encouraged by her mother, a 4 Gallon Donor, to donate, but her fear of needles prevented her from making the leap. With some encouragement, she finally rolled up her sleeve and donated in 2011 at the Bakersfield Police Department Blood Drive. After her first donation, Michaela learned that she was O negative, CMV negative, which meant she was the universal blood donor and her blood could also be given to newborn babies. This discovery changed the way Michaela viewed blood donation, especially after the birth of Charlie Skeleton and her own child, Cecilia Sims.

11707628_10155885833580220_860721853230752023_nMichaela closely follows Charlie’s journey and recently donated during the American Heart Association Hearts United Blood drive. When asked why she continues to donate, Michaela thinks back to Joslynn and her daughter, Charlie Skeleton. She hopes that her simple donation can make a difference in the lives of patients like Charlie. As the universal blood donor, Michaela makes an effort to donate every 8 weeks in order to ensure patients, like baby Charlie, will always have an adequate blood supply. To people who have not donated before, Michaela asks that they picture themselves in the shoes of patients in need of blood products or in the families of sick children, parents, and other loved ones. If a few minutes of your time, could save someone’s life, why not? When the time comes, Michaela hopes her own daughter will follow her lead and give blood donation a try.

In her spare time, Michaela enjoys scrapbooking, yarning, teaching fitness classes at In-Shape and Total Woman, volunteering, and spending time with her 2-year-old daughter. She is also the reigning Mrs. Bakersfield for 2016.

Gear Up For Summer with EAKC

30551PR_SS_120709SummerMoneyWith the last days of the school year upon us, summer vacation is on everyone’s mind. Let us help you prepare for your next beach trip. Just visit a donor center or mobile drive during May to automatically be entered to win the Executives’ Association of Kern County Monthly Drawing for $500 cash, sponsored by Mahalo Pool Care and Alcorn Aire, Inc!

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!

Celebrate Freedom Week

2016 Freedom Week - E-Blast - MayFrom Saturday, May 21st through Saturday, May 28th, 2016 donors will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite branch of the Armed Services during Freedom Week, our 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”.

Freedom week 2Donors can enjoy a free kick-off BBQ on Saturday, May 21st 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 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 a veteran 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 drawing.

Local Battle of the Bay Heats Up

IMG_20160428_154411 (1)The Bakersfield Black Hole Raiders Club is organizing their 4th annual blood drive along with the Kern County Niner Empire, Bakersfield Raider Booster Club, and Thee Empire Faithful SF 49er Booster Club. We call it Kern County’s Battle of The Bay Blood Drive. These clubs are all coming together for a common goal: to save lives in their community! Support your favorite football team by donating blood, platelets or plasma, beginning Thursday, May 5 through Saturday, May 7, 2016. Donate during the drive and you’ll be entered to win a Char-Griller with two bags of Kingsford Charcoal! Or, you can socialize and save lives with other Raider and 49er fanatics at the kick-off social event on Thursday, May 5 at the Truxtun Donor Center, 5901 Truxtun Avenue, from 4-7 pm.

Battle BayPaul Ocampo, President of The Bakersfield Black Hole Raiders Club, wanted their club to organize this fourth annual blood drive to make a positive impact in the community. “The Black Hole Raiders Club members believe in spreading our message of positive fanaticism through solidarity as we promote team spirit, community outreach, and civic pride. We are proud supporters of our local Bakersfield community and feel honored to be able to donate blood, help save lives and encourage all others to do the same”, he said.

There will be a Tailgate Party at the Truxtun Donor Center on Saturday, May 7th from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm featuring delicious tailgate food for donors and fans. Live music is planned and donors will have one last chance to score the brand new Char-Griller! For more information about Kern County’s Battle of The Bay Blood Drive, or an appointment, call us at 661-616-2505. You can also make an appointment online.

Battle 2014

Kern County’s Battle of the Bay Tailgate Party in 2014