African-American Led Nonprofits Participate in a BIG Way in Give Big Kern! 

Dear Readers of the Bakersfield News Observer:

Since 2016, Give Big Kern has been observed locally on the first Tuesday in May as “One Day to Celebrate the Giving Spirit of Kern County!”

A nonprofit strengthening initiative of Kern Community Foundation, Give Big Kern helps participating nonprofits increase their visibility, capacity and sustainability through a highly publicized online fundraising effort that allows them to raise unrestricted funds while growing their donor and volunteer support base. The campaign is absolutely FREE: Kern Community Foundation’s gift to the community. While May 7 is the BIG day to give, the givebigkern.org website is already accepting donations, and we hope you will want to join in the fun of giving to a cause you care about.

This year, thanks to a wonderful partnership with the Bakersfield News Observer, we are highlighting a number of participating agencies that are either African-American-led, or whose fundraising efforts involve leadership from members of the African-American community. This week, we highlight Bakersfield Ivy Legacy Foundation, Bakersfield Police Activities League, the Housing & Opportunity Foundation of Kern, and Learning Dynamics.

As you read the following brief profiles and fundraising appeals of these nonprofits, please consider donating to any one of them, or to the more than 120 other charitable organizations participating in Give Big Kern. Find your passion and give!

How to Help 

Simply go to givebigkern.org, search for an organization you would like to support and click the “Donate” button on their page. It’s that simple. The minimum donation is $5. All moneys donated go straight to that organization.

If you prefer to give of your time and talents to any one of these nonprofits, find the “Volunteering” option on the drop-down menu on the givebigkern.org home page. Fill out the online volunteer form, and pledge volunteer hours to the nonprofit of your choice. That agency will contact you after Give Big Kern Day.

Let’s all come together as a community to support our hard-working nonprofits!

Thank you!

Louis Medina, Director of Community Impact, Kern Community Foundation (Louis@kernfoundation.org)

BAKERSFIELD IVY LEGACY FOUNDATION, INC. 

By Raquell Jones,

President The Bakersfield Ivy Legacy Foundation

 (BILF) is a proud supporter of Give Big Kern, which offers an exciting opportunity for BILF and the Bakersfield community to partner together to raise money to support its philanthropic targets—education, health awareness, environmental sustainability and other issues affecting the African-American community.

We are an African-American organization committed to helping our youth, especially young girls and women, to reach their full potential. We seek to extend the circle of support through educational forums, field trips, workshops and videos highlighting how our youth can prepare for college entry; also, we engage in projects with Dignity Heath, the Kern High School District and other similar community and educational organizations, which help us touch the lives of over 500 students each year.

Every dollar we raise together through Give Big Kern, we intentionally give 100% back, as we believe that together we must elevate, empower, and embrace our community through education, health awareness, and economic and environmental sustainability.

LEARNING DYNAMICS 

By Nicole Brown

Executive Director 

Learning Dynamics offers mental health and educational services to people of all ages. We have been committed to making a difference by helping the African-American community to overcome the challenges of receiving essential healthcare.

One in five Americans have mental health or educational difficulties. African-Americans are 20% more likely to have serious mental health problems, yet they are less likely to get treatment. While there has been progress over the years, the challenges continue. Lack of treatment, racism, and professionals that do not understand our culture still impact our community.

Our agency is known for offering therapy, testing, and training designed to meet the needs of diverse populations. In Kern County, these much-needed services are very difficult to find. We invite you to visit www.learningdynamicsinc.org to learn more, and “Give Big” to our agency. Help us grow the number of families served in Kern County.

HOUSING & OPPORTUNITY FOUNDATION OF KERN

By Trista Carter,

Executive Director

The Housing & Opportunity Foundation of Kern is a non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of life of low-income families, seniors and youth in Kern County. We are participating in Give Big Kern with a goal of raising $5,000 to expand our youth and senior programs. The funds we receive through Give Big Kern will allow us to provide our youth with more supplies for activities such as STEM projects and Arts & Crafts. We will also be able to take our Teen Club to leadership conferences, career fairs and college tours, ensure a wider variety of foodstuffs in our food pantry, and provide more daily essentials for our seniors and families.

We appreciate our community’s generosity. For more information please visit www.kernopportunityfoundation.org or find us at www.givebigkern.org. To keep up with our foundation, follow our social media pages! We’re on Instagram @hof_kerncounty and Facebook/Twitter: @hofkerncounty.

BAKERSFIELD POLICE ACTIVITIES LEAGUE 

By Sgt. David Brooks

Executive Director

Bakersfield Police Activities League (PAL) is a non-profit, charitable organization formed in 1994 by Police Officers and concerned citizens. PAL strives to benefit children and the surrounding neighborhood. PAL targets at-risk youth in high crime neighborhoods, provides positive alternatives to the streets with programs such as boxing, soccer, tutoring, boys’ and girls’ social development classes, and more. Through these quality programs, our goal is to help children to become successful, responsible, and caring individuals. This is achieved with the hard work of committed board members, police officers, community volunteers, and staff through the giving of time, mentoring, coaching, and positive role modeling.

PAL partnered with Give Big Kern to strengthen our fundraising reach in the community. Funds raised from this project will be used to assist our Safe Haven Sports and Recreation Program, so we can collaboratively assist the youth of Kern County to strive for a better future.