by FABIAN GONZALEZ/South Kern Sol
ARVIN– Houchin Community Blood Bank asked Arvin High School students to ‘Give It Up.’
‘Give It Up’ was the slogan of Houchin’s Blood Drive at the high school campus on Nov. 8, 2011. Arvin high and Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) hosted the blood drive.
Although 130 students and teachers signed up only 117 of them actually donated blood. Students under the age of 16 had to turn in a permission slip with parent(s) consent.
One of 117 donors was student Desiree Valdez, a junior at Arvin High.
“ I think it could help someone live healthier or will save a life,” said Valdez.
Few hours before their appointment, donors were encouraged to “have a meal with protein in it during the morning, so afterwards the body can replace the donated blood,” said Stephanie Gibbons, Community Development Account Manager for Houchin.
Before the donation, donors had to register, answer a questionnaire and read two pages of ‘important information that every donor should know.’
Also nurses privately asked each donor questions about themselves and checked their iron levels. Afterward, the donor was walked to the blood donation mobile, but not before getting “awesome, cool stuff,” as described by Jemina Gallardo, 17.
The ‘stuff’ included coupons for Rusty‘s Pizza and a free chicken sandwich from Foley.
The actual blood donation took between 5 and 10 minutes. After the donation, donors helped themselves to bottled water and snacks located at the front of the bus.
Kern County high schools blood donations make up about 40 percent of Houchin’s blood supply.
A single blood donation is not only a ‘blood’ donation, but it’s also be used for plasma and platelet. Type O Negative is a very important blood type because it’s a universal blood type that can be used for blood Types A or B.
“Donating blood is an awesome community service,” said Gibbons. “And many students are gladly doing it.”
For those, who’d like to donate blood, Houchin’s blood drive calendar can be located on their website at
The Houchin will be back at Arvin High School during March.