Kern County Mission’s Executive Director Carlos, Baldovinos said that while the local clothing donation rate has dropped ten percent since the pandemic, the need is still there.
“Right now, it’s hard to tell that it’s going to get cold, because you have 90 plus degrees, but before you know it it’s going to get cold here in Kern county, and folks are going to need this,” Baldovinos said.
So, when 23ABC along with the Valley Republic Bank’s Lynn Grochowski reached out to The Kern County Mission a couple months ago about partnering for a clothing drive, he said it was much appreciated.
“It takes a whole team to do something like this. I've seen it year after year, where different organizations step up and help the most vulnerable, Baldovinos said. "And that’s why you have a community like Kern County that will step up to the plate.”
The Share the Warmth drive is accepting gently used and new clothing of all kinds, with an emphasis on winter season garments and blankets.
“We do recognize that there is an increase with the homeless population," Valley Republic Bank CEO, Geraud Smith said. "We’ve partnered with the mission in the past, and they do a fantastic job of reaching out to those less fortunate."
23ABC, The Valley Republic Bank, and The Kern County Mission plan to make Share The Warmth an annual campaign.
The mission is hoping to receive “several hundred” jackets in order to ‘coat’ as many people staying at their shelter or seeking out their resources as possible. They hope to distribute them during the mission’s Thanksgiving holiday meal.
“That's the beautiful thing about Kern County: they come alongside and help in a time of need, in a time of crisis," Baldovinos said.
As far as pandemic precautions go, Baldovionos told 23ABC that they have been properly cleaning the items they receive, even before COVID-19 existed.
The drive is going on now until September 30. You can drop off clothing at any of these locations in Bakersfield or Delano:
5000 California Avenue, Suite 110, Bakersfield
4300 Coffee Road, Suite A6, Bakersfield
500 Woollomes Avenue, Suite 101, Delano
11330 Ming Avenue, Suite 400, Bakersfield