BAKERSFIELD - While the summer months are tough on many of us, this season takes its toll on our blood supply. That's why KGET and Houchin Community Blood Bank are teaming up next week to kick off a community wide blood drive.
We need your help re-stocking the shelves now, before there's an emergency.
At Houchin Blood Bank on Bolthouse Drive, the parking lot is bare, donor chairs are empty. They are signs of summer.
"We kind of take it for granted that it's always going to be there because we do have a safe supply working today. But really, it takes everyone working together to endure. That is the truth," said Carola Enriquez, Director of Community Development at Houchin.
Enriquez says only ten percent of people who can donate, do. And, those numbers shrink in the summer season, but the need doesn't.
"Blood that is on the shelves is what saves lives. If you rush in after an event, it still takes two days at least to get through all of the testing," said Enriquez.
And, when time is of the essence, as it is for many who need blood at one time to live, that's when donations are priceless.
"Definitely, people should come out and support the community and people who need it the most," said Paul Armendariz, blood donor.
Armendariz is a rare and needed summertime donor. Houchin Blood Bank is hoping more people like him flood the 8th annual Community Blood Drive like they did last year.
"The fact that people would go ahead and show up and be willing to give blood on one day like that, is just amazing to me," said Enriquez.
In takes just an hour of your time and a pint of blood to know you might be someone's second chance.
"Physically, I feel good. Emotionally, I feel good that I contributed to the blood bank and that I might be able to help somebody," said Armendariz.
The Community Wide Blood Drive is Monday, July 29th, from 5 a.m. until 6 p.m. It's at 22nd and L Streets in downtown Bakersfield.
Houchin will have two mobile donation units set up and will serve food to donors all day. Prime Cut is providing breakfast burritos and Port of Subs will feed donors starting at 11 a.m. There will also be La Rosa bars given out all day.
For your lifesaving donation, you'll receive a t-shirt and a chance to win a family Disney vacation for four.