BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — KGET and Houchin Community Blood Bank are teaming up once again for the annual Community-Wide Blood Drive.

The drive kicked off Wednesday morning at 5 a.m., right outside the KGET studios at 22nd and L Streets. It will run throughout the month of December.

The drive comes at a time of dire need for HCBB, and for blood banks across the nation. A blood shortage spurred by the pandemic has dried up banks’ stores, and made administering life-saving treatments difficult. Houchin officials say the holidays are generally a time of great need for blood, so any donations — regardless of blood type — could save lives.

Houchin is offering other incentives as well. Every donor is entered into a random drawing for a $1,500 gift certificate to Big Bear Ski Resort, as well as other prizes.

Before donating, Houchin asks that you fill out this online questionnaire. Doing so will streamline the screening process, and ensure that donors are eligible before donation.