Throughout April, the Bakersfield News Observer will continue to feature stories contributed by local nonprofits participating in the Give Big Kern online fundraising campaign hosted by Kern Community Foundation.

Consider giving locally to the charities featured in the pages of the Bakersfield News Observer this week and in the following issues till the end of the month. Simply go to givebigkern.org, use the search bar to find a nonprofit you care about, and give. The minimum donation is just $5. The Give Big Kern campaigns continues till May 4.

You can also pledge volunteer hours to the organization of your choice by using the menu at the top of the page on the Give Big Kern website and choosing the “Volunteering” option. Fill out a brief form online, choose the agency you would like to support through volunteering from the drop-down menu, and your contact information will be provided to them so they can get in touch with you when public health protocols allow. For more information, write to us at info@kernfoundation.org.


Give Big Kern, an online fundraiser to support local nonprofits, lasts from April 4 to May 4. Just go to givebigkern.org, find a nonprofit you feel passionate about, and, as Mascot Billy the Give Big Goat likes to say, “Give B-I-I-I-G!”

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Global Family Care Network

Girls have fun while creating crafts at a Global Family girls empowerment prevention program in Bakersfield. Photo courtesy of Global Family Care Network.)

By Charity Jensen, Head of Programs

Global Family Care Network is a nonprofit organization working to protect children and preserve families in Kern County, and in nine countries worldwide. We implement anti-human trafficking education, girls’ empowerment, shelter, and aftercare programs. Global Family founded the Daughter Project Girls Home (DPGH) in Bakersfield in 2016, a residential therapeutic program that serves victims of commercial sexual exploitation who are minors—between ages 12 and 18. The DPGH provides evidence-based and trauma-informed therapeutic, educational, social, and case management services. 

According to the Polaris Project, a data-driven social justice movement that combats sex and labor trafficking, there was a 25% jump in human trafficking cases from 2017 to 2019, with 23,078 survivors identified. California is one of the largest sites of human trafficking in the United States. In 2018, there were 1,654 cases of human trafficking reported in California alone, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. 

Commercially sexually exploited children have complex physical, psychological, and spiritual needs. The trauma they experience is multifaceted and long-term. Thus, addressing and healing from this particular type of trauma requires dedication and time spent in therapy and self-care. No child should be in a situation where they are displaced from a home and vulnerable to being out on the streets, where they can fall prey to further abuse, neglect, and/or commercial sexual exploitation or trafficking. 

Global Family is excited to participate in Give Big Kern 2021! Our goal is to raise funding from the community to provide high-quality services to victims of trafficking in Kern County. All donations go directly to our programs. Funding will be used to ensure that therapeutic, educational, and social programs are provided to survivors, to help them recover and move towards independence. 

Donate to us by visiting givebigkern.org and searching for “global family.” Learn more about us at globalfamily.care.

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Habitat for Humanity Golden Empire

Habitat volunteers framing and raising the walls for the Rodman home in East Bakersfield in March 2020, before having to close our construction site due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will provide a single mother of two and her children a stable place to call home. (Photo courtesy of Habitat for Humanity Golden Empire)

By Verenise De La Cruz, Resource Development Coordinator

Since 1990, Habitat for Humanity Golden Empire has tackled the issue of housing insecurity in our community by partnering with low-income families in Kern County and assisting them in getting access to safe, secure, and affordable housing options.

We build decent and affordable homes for members of our community while providing an outlet where unwanted items can be donated and repurposed at our Habitat ReStore, a combination nonprofit home improvement store, second-hand market, and donation center.

Our Habitat ReStore is located at 5101 White Lane.

We are proud to share that since our establishment, Habitat Golden Empire has helped 82 families find affordable housing and has worked with over 160 low-income homeowners through our Habitat Home Repair Program since 2011. Habitat Homeowners in Kern county have also financed over $10 million in affordable mortgages.

At HFHGE, we rely heavily on generous community support to continue our projects while serving families. We could not have accomplished all that we have in 31 years of serving the community without the support of our benevolent Habitat volunteers, partners, and stakeholders. They are the true Habitat Heroes of it all!

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has impacted everyone in our country, presenting significant, unforeseen challenges. For HFHGE, we were forced to close our doors at our office and ReStore, which impacted our ability to provide needed products, programs, and services to people in need. Through it all, our amazing community continued to stand with us and graciously welcomed our re-opening in June 2020.

As we persevere through these challenging times, we ask you to consider helping drive our mission of providing long-term sustainable housing for families in Kern County by donating to us through Give Big Kern.

Just go to givebigkern.org and search “Habitat Golden Empire” to find our page. Then give using the “Donate” button.

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No Sister Left Behind


No Sister Left Behind CEO Glenda Woolfolk and Treasurer Linda Factory pass out personal protective equipment at a health fair held in conjunction with other agencies at Bakersfield High School in March. (Photo courtesy of No Sister Left Behind)

By Glenda Woolfolk, President/ CEO

No Sister Left Behind was launched in an effort to lessen the disparities associated with Black women concerning their well-being.

No Sister Left Behind addresses these disparities from a holistic approach called “Total Well-being.” The seven aspects of total well-being are social, mental, emotional, physical, financial, career and community.

Our Total Well-being programs provide women with the tools they need to thrive in their home, community and beyond.

We need help with startup costs associated with daily sustainability such as office space and office equipment, maintenance, marketing, outreach through a “boots on the ground” approach, materials needed for program participants, and with providing essential COVID personal protective equipment and supplies needed to maintain Centers for Disease Control and State of California public safety guidelines.

Because COVID has changed what our programs were planned to look like, we have begun our programs virtually, and as public health guidelines are relaxed, we will change to in-person service delivery. All of No Sister Left Behind’s programs are free and open to the public.

Our hope is that through Give Big Kern we will raise the funds needed to provide successful programs while introducing our much-needed organization to the local community. We are grateful for the opportunity to join other nonprofit organizations participating in Give Big Kern and also working hard to serve Kern County. To donate to us between now and May 4, visit givebigkern.org and search for “no sister left behind.” For more information, please e-mail nosisterleftbehind2@gmail.com, or call 661-378-7783. Please visit our website, nosisterleftbehind2.org.

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STEMTaught Foundation

This volunteer from a local church group helped bag STEM kits for STEMTaught Foundation to deliver to local schools. Volunteers of all ages, including families and service clubs, are needed. Write to Stemtaughtfoundation@gmail.com for more information. (Photo courtesy of STEMTaught Foundation)

By Soleil Hurst, Community Outreach Coordinator

For the past six years, the STEMTaught Foundation has worked daily with thousands of teachers, students, and administrators of K-6 public schools in Kern County and others in California to deliver engaging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) education resources free of charge.

During the last five years, we have helped over 4,000 classrooms participate in hands-on STEM labs and computer programming activities. We have offered curricular materials and training to more than 600 teachers to help them be more confident and experienced in conducting science labs in their own classrooms. The STEMTaught Foundation donates supplies to schools in need, including inner city schools and rural schools in the agricultural farming communities of Kern County.

Our mission is to impact youth through hands-on STEM education and to create solutions for better hands-on STEM in classrooms.

The school districts we serve are Delano, Shafter, Rio Bravo Greely, Rosedale Union, Midway, Wayside Elementary in Bakersfield City School District, and Berkshire Elementary in Panama-Buena Vista School District.

Normally we operate with an open sign-up calendar and teachers sign up for class visits. We bring fun hands-on STEM activities to their classrooms and work directly with students and teachers. The pandemic has completely changed how we serve, since COVID-19 shut down schools; but the STEMTaught Foundation has worked hard to keep kids innovating and creating at home with STEM kits donated to 10,000 students in grades K-6. STEMTaught scientists have run hands-on Zoom sessions with thousands of students in distance learning classrooms all over Kern County. We also benefit from lots of community volunteers without whom we could never assemble all the STEM kits we distribute.

Your generous donation will go toward supporting our efforts in Kern County schools. Donate to the STEMTaught Foundation by visiting givebigkern.org, then searching for “Stemtaught.” You can also visit our website, stemtaughtfoundation.org, to learn more about our work.