Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday and is a big day for many non-profit organizations in Kern County. May 5 marks the annual Give Big Kern fundraiser.
Give Big Kern is a day designated for philanthropy across Kern County. It is an opportunity for the entire county to come together and support local non-profit organizations. The funds raised are allocated to support vulnerable communities.
“This year with the outbreak of COVID-19, many non-profit organizations have not been able to fundraise or promote,” said Youth Connection of Kern Executive Director Sharon Woolfolk. “The 100 plus organization’s missions (are) to help vulnerable community members. Those that can not help themselves, whether they are teenagers or seniors.”
Some of the non-profits partaking in Give Big Kern include the African American Network of Kern, the Bakersfield Museum of Art, CASA of Kern County, CAPK, the Dolores Huerta Foundation and so much more. You can find a full list here.
Because of the crisis, the Boys & Girls Club has expanded the after-school meal program to seven days a week to help provide nutritious meals for at-risk disadvantaged children in Bakersfield, Arvin and Lamont, according to reporting by 23 ABC. So far, they have served 83,815 meals to children since schools have closed.
“As long as the schools are shut down, we will actually be losing $50,000 to$60,000 a month in fees for service,” said Zane Smith, executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kern County.
“Youth connection provides resources to at-risk youth providing them different activity options, such as baseball, karate, gimnastic or any kind of recreational activity that kids want to do, youth connection makes sure to place kids in those programs,” said Woolfolk. “We will pay their tuition on a monthly basis for however long they want to go.”
Youth connection of Kern focuses on engaging Elementary and Junior highschool kids in this program.
Woolfolk said, “We feel they are the ones at most risk at this time because they are so impacted by their environment, peers and neighborhoods. We give them an opportunity to get out of those poor neighborhoods that are impacted in a negative way. We place them into positive programs so they can see there is more than a negative style of life. Demonstrating them there are positive things you can do with your life. At this time we just need our community to step up and to give to those organizations and show support. Any little bit helps.”
If you wish to take part by donating on May 5th, 2020 to your favorite non-profit organization in an easy and simple way from the comfort of your home, head to GiveBigKern.org, search for a nonprofit by name or cause, and give to that agency right on their page on the Give Big Kern site.