Serving the community since 1970

Mobile blood bank ready for donors

The nonprofit Houchin Community Blood Bank has served the people of Wasco for more than 30 years, and is celebrating its 71st anniversary this year. On Friday, Feb. 18, they will bring their mobile bus to host a blood drive event in Wasco from 2 6 p.m. at 929 Broadway Street.

"Wasco is a community of givers, and when we come to Wasco, residents show up to support the mission because they know how important it is," said Martin Alonzo, Houchin's chief operating officer.

Each blood donation can help save or improve the lives of at least three people, the blood center says. Every two seconds, someone in the US needs blood. In Wasco, current blood inventories are critically low. ARE THEIR BLOOD INVENTORIES IN WASCO?

"It is more important now than ever to have our community members come out to support the blood donation process. We need their help to ensure that we have sufficient blood on the shelves to respond to those tragic emergencies that come up or are unexpected," explained Alonzo.

Blood donors help patients of all ages: accidents and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those battling cancer.

Anyone can donate as long as they are 18 years and older, weigh over 110 pounds and pass a quick health screening. There is no cutoff age, and one can donate every 8 weeks.

Donating is easy, and the whole process takes about 45 minutes, where most of that time is spent conducting a minor health check. The screening provides extra benefits, too – it provides the donor with their cholesterol level, blood pressure and blood type.

Giving blood can improve sleep and reveal potential health problems. Studies have shown that donating can help reduce harmful iron stored in the body and lower your risk of heart attacks. It has also been linked to reducing certain types of cancer.

Over the years, the blood bank has partnered with local churches and other civic organizations such as the Wasco Knights of Columbus, with which they have worked with for over 11 years.

"We are inviting everyone in Wasco to participate. Their support will make an important impact, and it will be fun. There will be hot dogs and refreshments, and each donor will receive a gift," said Mayor Gilberto Reyna, who is a member of the Knights of Columbus.

"It is our goal to help save lives by providing blood supplies to the communities we serve. When you give, people live," shared Alonzo.

Those interested can visit to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are also welcome.


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