Forty-two people donated blood in Tehachapi on Tuesday, Sept. 21, bringing the total to more than 850 donors over the past 18 months.

The 25th community blood drive was held during that period with Houchin Community Blood Bank, Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Park District and the city of Tehachapi joining together. Sen. Shannon Grove had heard this drive would be the 25th and 2,500 lives potentially impacted by these blood donations. She wanted to recognize the donors from Tehachapi and the three organizations that teamed up during the pandemic to help all of Kern County.

Grove sent a video message of thanks and recognition certificates with her representatives. Congressman Kevin McCarthy also issued certificates of recognition to the three organizations and sent his appreciation to the event with his representative.

“I want to send a message of gratitude and appreciation to the Houchin Community Blood Bank, the Tehachapi Valley Recreation and Parks District and the city of Tehachapi for their commitment to provide a vital resource, blood drives for our community. Your decision to step up in a time of great need has transformed countless lives and changed the outcomes for many families,” Grove said in part of her video statement.

HCBB was forced to find alternative locations to host blood drives after numerous cancellations due to the restrictions put in place for public safety. HCBB, TVRPD and the city of Tehachapi were able to work within the safety guidelines put in place by the state of California and host a combined 25 blood drives in Tehachapi between March 2020 and Sept. 21, 2021 (25th drive).

Blood donations save lives; people need blood following severe accidents, surgery, cancer and severe anemia. One unit of blood can help save up to three lives.

“The 850-plus donors from our community speaks volumes on what Tehachapi is made up of, people who are caring, give of their time and self,” said Key Budge, event coordinator.

The next Tehachapi Blood drive will be Tuesday, Nov. 16 at West Park.