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 nonprofit community. 

While May 7 is the BIG day to give, the website has been accepting donations since April 7, 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 several participating agencies that are either African-American-led, or whose fundraising efforts involve leadership from members of the African-American community. 

This week we are proud to feature PathPoint, Youth Connection, and the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI Kern County. In the case of Youth Connection and NAMI you will see one dedicated leader doing double duty, raising money for TWO local organizations. In the case of PathPoint, you will see African-American leaders’ kindness in action for the benefit of people with developmental disabilities, whose privacy is protected by identifying them by first name only.  

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!

Simply go to, 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 some of your time and talents to any one of these nonprofits, find the “Volunteering” option on the drop-down menu on the 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

By Shawn White

Vice President

PathPoint supports people with developmental disabilities to pursue their hopes and dreams. Since 2007, we have helped hundreds of individuals throughout Kern County unlock their potential by strengthening workplace abilities, building life skills, and developing meaningful relationships.

When you donate to PathPoint through Give Big Kern, you are contributing directly to crucial program supplies for our developmental disability programs. Our programs are designed to help individuals reach their goals by teaching them new skills and allowing them to participate in the community. Your gift will help us purchase assistive technology, art therapy supplies, sensory integration tools, employment training materials, and much more. Thank you for your generosity!

Questions? Please contact Shawn White, Vice President of PathPoint Kern County at (661) 617-6170 or, and visit us at PathPoint’s Give Big Kern page may be found at  

By Sharon Woolfolk


NAMI Kern County provides help, hope and education to individuals and family members affected by mental illness so they can build better lives. 

We want to raise $5,000 to expand our programs and distribute educational information throughout our community. Additionally, we want to provide educational brochures and pamphlets throughout our local schools. 

We will be hosting an Open House from 1 to 4 p.m. on Give Big Kern Day, May 7, at the Idea Hive, 1910 19th Street, Bakersfield, CA 93301. We would love to meet you and tell you more about our organization. 

For more information visit our website at and our Give Big Kern page at

Help us reach our goal by giving on #GiveBigKern!

By Sharon Woolfolk


Youth Connection helps at-risk youth, ages of 6-13, by connection them to community programs in hopes of redirecting their young lives with positive structured programs. The goal of Youth Connection is to prevent delinquency through early intervention.

We want to raise $5,000 to offer sporting activities, art classes, tutoring and music lessons to at-risk youth whose parents and/or caretakers cannot afford them because of a financial hardship.

We will be hosting an Open House from 1 to 4 p.m. on Give Big Kern Day, May 7, at the Idea Hive, 1910 – 19th Street, Bakersfield, CA 93301.  Come hear about how we are making a difference in the lives our Kern County youth.

For more information visit our Give Big Kern page at 

Help make difference in the lives or our at-risk youth by giving on #GiveBigKern!