BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Abandoned and unidentified babies in Kern County will finally get the burial they deserve thanks to a nonprofit organization that is planting its roots at the Historic Union Cemetery. And the first burial could be that of the newborn baby found in an Oildale trash can over a week ago.
It was a similar story that Elissa Davey said weighed heavy on her heart. In 1998, a baby was found dead in a Chula Vista, California trash can. Davey was able to give the baby a proper burial and wanted to do the same for other abandoned children, and that is how the Garden of Innocence was born.
Since then, Davey has been able to start a Garden of Innocence in 22 counties in California as well as in several states. Each baby is given a name and proper burial service.
"What we do is we come to a community and get the community involved," said Davey. "We don't run this garden, its run by your own people."
Davey approached the Historic Union Cemetery about starting a garden and the cemetery donated a 1,200 square-foot of land that will be the final resting place for up to 200 children.
"I thought it was a great idea, it made me feel good that we could have a space for it," said David Hepburn, the general manager of Historic Union Cemetery.
Now that the space is taken care of, Davey said they are in need of woodworkers to make urns and caskets, volunteers to make blankets and people to write poems. There are 13 positions that need to be filled just to bury one child, said Davey.
"It brings the community together to care for a child a love a child that they didn't know yesterday."
Davey said they are working with the county coroner to get the baby girl found in a trash can on Beardsley Ave. but because of the ongoing investigation it could be a while.
If you would like to help with the Bakersfield Garden of Innocence just go to their Website www.gardenofinnocence.org.