|Photo by Steve Halama|
“They have a heart of gold.” We’ve heard these words spoken about individuals from time to time. Some are celebrities like LeBron James or Marlo Thomas, who put forth money, time, and effort to help kids. Others are our friends, neighbors, and family members who are helping individuals and organizations.
This past week, I spent a little time with about 150 good-hearted folks, representatives for a varied roster of non-profits. They are my fellow citizens from Kern County who contribute countless hours and high-voltage energy to make life in our area more compassionate, more beautiful, more user friendly.
|Sandy of Writers of Kern & Runa of Arts Council of Kern|
These folks have one goal: to raise funds and garner volunteer time in order to fulfill their organizations’ missions or complete projects. They represent such non-profits as Marley’s Mutts, Bakersfield City Ballet, Arts Council of Kern, the Alliance Against Family Violence, Women’s March Kern County. Representatives from several organizations that lend aid and support to the growing number of homeless people in our area showed up, as did numerous others.
Give Big Kern is the day set aside to celebrate the giving spirit of our county. Sponsored by the Kern Community Foundation, Give Big Kern provides non-profits with access to opportunities for training and resources to help make their organizations’ dreams come true. In fact, this year’s theme (spoken in the voice of Billy the Give Big Goat who is the official mascot) is “Dream B-i-i-i-g!”
During the kick-off of this year’s initial training, at the invitation of organizer Louis Medina, it was my honor to help with a writing exercise that started participants thinking and talking about their big dreams and how they’d use donations if money were no object.
A woman from one of the homeless projects talked about buying used refrigerators to have available so people newly placed in homes could be sure their apartments passed approval and inspection. The representative from the ballet company dreamed of them getting their own studio instead of having to borrow or rent space from existing studios. Alpha Canine, a dog rescue organization, would build more kennels and make improvements to their facility. Everyone had a dream—a B-I-I-I-G dream!
Good-hearted, big-hearted people. Our neighbors and friends. They are working to make Kern County a better and more livable place for all of us. Bless their hearts of gold.
And what can we do? Be ready to support favorite non-profits through our dollars or volunteering our time.
~ xoA ~