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Casey Christie / The Californian

One of Houchin Community Blood Bank's locations is at 11515 Bolthouse Drive in southwest Bakersfield.

Houchin Blood Bank is calling on all healthy people with blood types O-negative and O-positive to donate blood this weekend.

The blood bank is especially squeezed for O-negative blood and had only a one-day supply on Friday. The shortage is critical because patients with the O-negative blood type can only receive O-negative blood, a news release said.

All other blood types are needed as well. Other blood centers are facing similar crunches and winter storm Hercules shut down blood donation centers in the East Coast and Great Lakes region.

"Patients are depending on only local donors to ensure they receive the blood products they need," the news release said.

Houchin's Truxtun Donor Center is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at 5901 Truxtun Ave. Donors can drop in to donate or call 616-2505 or visit to make an appointment.

Next week, the Truxtun site is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday; and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The Bolthouse Donor Center will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 11515 Bolthouse Drive.

Mercy and Memorial Hospitals is giving more more than $270,000 in grants to nine agencies this year.

Members of the grant review committee will give out the money from the Dignity Health Community Grants Program to eight of the groups on Tuesday. The Dignity Health Community Grants Program has awarded more than $2.7 million to 53 different organizations in Kern, according to a news release.

This year's recipents are:

* BARC $25,000

* St. Vincent De Paul $30,000

* Links for Life $40,800

* Bakersfield Pregnancy Center $15,000

* CASA of Kern County $35,000

* Alzheimer's Disease Association of Kern County $33,685

* California Veterans Assistance Foundation, Inc. $25,000

* United Way of Kern County $42,000

* West Side Community Resource Center in Taft $25,000