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.

Pint for a Pass Blood Drive Returns!

The Kern County Fair partners with us once again for the fifth annual Pint for a Pass Blood Drive, from August 14 to September 9, 2017. Donors at both donor centers AND mobile drives receive a FREE adult admission pass to this year’s Kern County Fair! All there is to do is roll up a sleeve and donate a pint of blood, platelets or plasma to receive your “Ticket to Fun”. Donors can also enter to win a grand prize four-pack to the Fair. The Grand Prize includes parking, admission and ride wristbands.

The Great Kern County Fair of 2017 runs from September 20th to October 1st.  As always, it will feature outstanding entertainment, fabulous food, thrilling rides, fascinating exhibits, and fun for the entire family.  “This partnership is natural, because of the rich history and deep roots of both organizations in Kern County, ” said Greg Gallion, President and CEO of the blood bank. “ Mike Olcott, CEO of the Great Kern County Fair reports: “Partnering with the Houchin Community Blood Bank on the Pint for a Pass Blood Drive has been a tremendous success for the fair in order to help the community and to fill the shelves with much needed blood supplies”.

Fair passes have been a successful way to attract donors during a time when the need is at its greatest. “Everyone loves the Great Kern County Fair, so we are thrilled to be able to offer our donors a free pass again this year. The passes really helped us motivate new and repeat donors the past three years at a time when back to school activities are pulling donors in other directions. We are sure this year’s Pint for a Pass Blood Drive will be just as successful”, says Carola Enriquez, Director of Community Development at Houchin.

Join us for the Pint for a Pass Blood Drive as we get ready to have a lot of fun at the Great Kern County Fair!

August Donor: Elijah Fernandez

Elijah Fernandez is an incoming senior at Centennial High School. Although he has only had two opportunities to donate at school, he has gone above and beyond and made sure to donate outside of school as well. Elijah is 17-years-old and and he has already donated four times, at this pace he will graduate from high school having reached his first gallon milestone and be a Gallon Grad!

Elijah plans on applying to college this fall. He is excited for his senior year where he will be involved in sports all year long with cross country in the fall, wrestling in the winter, and tennis in the spring! Elijah not only donates blood but he also donates his time to his community by staying an active member of his High School’s Interact Club!

Elijah donates blood because it gives him an opportunity to help others in a short amount of time. He likes knowing that his donation helps another person directly, and that he is able to make a difference. We wish Elijah the best of luck in his final year of high school and hope that his story will inspire other young people to become donors!

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.

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.