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Tehachapi blood drive, Feb. 14

Rotary Club of Tehachapi

Houchin Community Blood Bank will be holding a blood drive in Tehachapi at the Vineyard Church on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14. The blood drive will be sponsored by the City of Tehachapi and Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District.

Houchin Account Coordinator Dillon Nunamaker spoke at the Tehachapi Rotary meeting on Jan. 4 and shared some of Houchin Blood Bank's history.

Houchin Blood Bank was founded in Kern County in 1951 by Elmer Houchin and has been operating throughout the county ever since in an effort to prevent a shortage of blood for hospitals in the area. Houchin's reach does extend into Santa Clarita, where it supplies blood to Henry Mayo Hospital. Nunnamaker said that nationally only 3% of the population are blood donors, so there is often a shortage.

Most of the donations made to Houchin are whole blood, Nunamaker added, although they also collect plasma and platelets. Houchin collected 365 units of whole blood in 2023, as well as 28 units of plasma and 31 units of platelets. A sample of all donated blood is sent to a Stanford laboratory, where it is tested before use.

Houchin has three locations in Bakersfield (Bolthouse Dr., Truxton Ave. and Oswell St.) and holds mobile drives in Tehachapi, Stallion Springs and other locations. Appointments to make a donation can be made on the Houchin Blood Bank website at http://www.hcbb.com/. Click on "Donate Blood" and pick a location and time from the list at the bottom of the page. The Vineyard Church is located at 502 E. Pinon St., Tehachapi.

The Rotary Club of Tehachapi is a volunteer service organization with the motto, "Service Above Self." The Club meets at Kelcy's on Thursdays at noon. For more information about Rotary Club, you can visit their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/RotaryClubofTehachapi/.