Houchin trades fair tickets for blood donations

Tyler Frost, Reporter

The Houchin Community Blood Bank hosted their annual Fair Wristband Blood Drive Sept. 9 through Sept. 11 at two participating donor centers.

Every year, Houchin offers free admission passes to the 2019 Kern County Fair in exchange for blood donations during the 3-day event. 54 total ride wristband vouchers were given away with free admission passes attached.  

This is a “fair” trade, and an exciting opportunity to donate and potentially win one of the limited number of passes. 

Houchin required blood donors to be a minimum of 110 pounds, 18 years or older, and in good health upon donating. Parental consent was mandatory for 16 and 17-year-old donors, and a photo ID was to be presented at the time of registration. 

Donating blood saves lives every day, and Houchin is one community blood bank that presents the opportunity for Bakersfield citizens to help those in need. 

Regular donor and Bakersfield College Student, Nick Arias, says he goes to Houchin’s location on Truxtun Avenue every three months or so.

He added that he is very comfortable at Houchin,

“because it is such a friendly environment.” 

Regular donors and first-time donors alike gathered at the annual Fair Wristband Blood Drive to enter themselves in the contest and contribute to a good cause. 

First-time donor, Oscar Ramirez, said when asked about his motive for donating blood, “I want to try something different and receive a fair ticket.” The walls inside are filled with photos of life-long donors, as Houchin honors their loyal return members. 

Donating blood at any time of the year is a generous thing to do, and worth considering. Free admission to the Kern County Fair is an added incentive that is well worth the time.

Houchin Community Blood Bank was established in Kern County in 1951. 

They are a non profit organization that has made a tremendous difference in the community with their regular donation opportunities, fundraisers, and blood drives. Most notably, Houchin Community Blood Bank took in a surplus of red blood cell and platelets to help the victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting in 2017. Their donation centers operate in memory of Sarah Alice Houchin, the mother of XX Houchin. 

The Houchin family has helped build a friendly atmosphere over the years that has made them the go-to establishment for all blood donations. 

They have established themselves as the primary provider for all blood supply in Kern County, supplying Kern County hospitals with all of the blood that they need. Houchin accepts volunteer walk-in donations as well as regular community and company blood drives.

Donations for the Fair Wristband Blood Drive were accepted at both Houchin locations. Though the Fair Wristband Blood Drive is only a three-day event every year, Houchin Community Blood Bank offers the opportunity to donate 6 days a week, with the opportunity to walk in or participate in blood drives year-round.