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!

News from Houchin

Spread the word! This year we anticipate a number of exciting changes.

Effective February 2, 2018, a person receiving a tattoo in a licensed facility, in a regulated state like California, can donate just seven days after the tattoo.  The previous one year wait period has kept many people from donating, and we look forward to seeing those donors back in and saving lives. If you have been deferred for tattoos in the past, you may now be eligible to give.

We will be rolling out a new interactive donor portal over the next few months as well.  This will allow donors to make online appointments and search for mobile drives easily via an interactive map to learn when we will be near them throughout Kern County.

The new portal will also allow donors to check their health records, and find out when they are eligible to donate again.  This new access will allow donors to access information after hours or via mobile phone.  Available open time slots for mobile drives, as well as trima and whole blood appointments will be available so that we can better serve donors in a timely manner. Be sure we have your correct e-mail address so we can inform you of the system’s availability.  It will even allow us to text you if you choose!

We hope you will be as excited as we are about these changes!




Grand Fiesta for Lucky Donor

Thanks to locally owned Explorer Travel & Toursall February donors will be automatically entered to win a fabulous stay at the Hotel Grand Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta. Agency Owner Leland Davis says he is very excited to be able to offer 4 days and three nights for two at this exciting adults only hotel. This wonderful prize is the Executives’ Association of Kern Countymonthly prize.

The Hotel Grand Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta features majestic views, world-class fine dining and exceptional personalized service at a stylish beachfront all-inclusive resort in Mexico.

Secluded in the lush green and mesmerizing Sierra Madre mountains, but just 15 minutes from the Romantic Zone, Grand Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta offers an unforgettable leisure experience. Our winner can unwind by the infinity pool or dive into the crystal-clear waters of Bahia de Banderas. From guided kayak tours to a pampering at Haixa Spa, fantastic memories await our winner at this unique destination. Watch a video here.

The Explorer Travel & Tours motto is “Adventure is out there…We’ll help you find it.” According to Leland: “We love to explore new destinations and it is our pleasure to assist clients in planning all their travel adventures. We are a full service travel and tour agency that researches, plans, and organizes every detail to your specifications. We love to help charity and relief groups in addition to our other services.”

Leland is a regular blood donor close to reaching the 4 gallon mark. He shares: “My mother-in-law passed away from complications due to leukemia and was required to receive regular blood transfusions.” Leland is also a Kern County firefighter, and adds: “I see the need for blood donations to help support burn victims and victims of traumatic accidents on a daily basis. The most common excuse I hear for not donating is that it hurts, well I will tell you it takes me about 20 – 30 mins and it is easy and you always have some neat snacks to enjoy after donating.”

Leland is proud to represent the travel industry in the Executives’ Association of Kern County and would be happy to hear from anyone wanting to know more about travel. Contact him at 661-374-4577, or info@set4adventure.comBe sure to check out the Explorer Travel & Tours Facebook page.

Note: The winner of the trip must book it through Explorer Travel & Tours, and the winner will be responsible for airfare, transfers, and required travel protection, which will be booked through Explorer Travel and Tours. Extra nights or tours can be added if the client wishes to purchase them. The trip must be booked by 12/1/18.


Kids Born with Half a Heart

You probably remember our delightful friend Charlie, who celebrated her third birthday with us by hosting a month long blood drive with her family. They encouraged 3,333 blood product donations during February 2017 in advance of an impending heart surgery for Charlie.  She went through that successful surgery on May 30th, and is back to her active little self. Your can follow her progress at Hearts for Charlie.

While Charlie was born missing the left side of her heart, her friend Brave Baby Ben was born missing the right side of his, so they have one whole heart between them.  Both are tough little people, having experienced surgery and procedures since birth.  Such surgeries require blood, platelets and plasma donations from donors like you.

We are going to celebrate these two great kids throughout February, which is American Heart Month. They and their families will host a blood drive on Saturday, February 17, 2018 as well.

While we think of hearts in February, it’s probably not the kind beating in our chests.  Real hearts need to be mended constantly in people of all ages, so we hope to see many donors in giving blood, platelets and plasma from their hearts throughout the month.  We will feature more about these great kids all month on social media. Can we beat last year’s February totals in honor of these little survivors? We sure hope so.