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 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 tracy@gotosummitfinancial.com or 661-472-0932.

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse Blood Drive

WebGet your Pizookie® on August, 5th! BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse will be hosting a mobile drive at its Bakersfield location,10750 Stockdale Highway, from 12 noon to 3:00 pm. At the mobile drive, or at either donor center from 8 am to 2 pm, donors will score a coupon for BJ’s Famous Pizookie® dessert. These coupons are always a real favorite with our donors who know a good thing when they eat it. We believe the opportunity to save lives is all the sweeter with such a special treat!

BJ’s Famous Pizookie® comes in ten tempting flavors including Chocolate Chunk, Salted Caramel, Peanut Butter S’mores, Cookies ‘n’ Cream, Monkey Bread, Churro, and Triple Chocolate. There is also a gluten-free Chocolate Chip Pizookie®. These are definitely worth saving room for as each is served warm from the oven and topped with premium ice cream.  Yum!  Don’t miss out on a chance to save lives on BJ’s day at Houchin for a sweet treat.

Ashley HomeStore Day Is Back

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Donors will receive this awesome Ashley-Sleep memory foam pillow when they donate!

We are proud to partner with the Bakersfield Ashley HomeStore® on Saturday, August 26, 2017. This is our eighth blood drive together, and based on prior success, the drive should be a great help in keeping our shelves stocked this summer!

Although the need for blood never takes a vacation, our donors do, and that makes it harder for people to find time to give blood. Special blood drives like this one at Ashley HomeStore® help ensure a stable blood supply to offset this seasonal decline.

The Ashley HomeStore® mobile blood drive will be held at its Bakersfield location, 8915 Rosedale Highway, from 10 am – 2 pm. Donors at the mobile drive and at either donor center, will receive a coupon for a FREE Ashley Sleep Contour Pillow and a 30% off coupon for merchandise at the Ashley HomeStore®, while supplies last. The pillow coupon must be redeemed at the store. At the mobile drive, donors will receive a FREE Route 44 Sonic coupon. Plus, donors at both donor center as well as the mobile drive receive a FREE adult admission to the Kern County Fair. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at 661-616-2505. You can also make an appointment online.

Ashley HomeStore has always had a proud sense of its history and the wisdom to know what made it great. Ashley continues to strive to enhance its communities by working to improve their infrastructure and community services. Locally owned Ashley HomeStores® are extremely active in their communities supporting many nonprofit organizations. Thank you for supporting ours!

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 info@hcbb.com. 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.

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.