BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — In a planned message to Kern Community Foundation Fundholders, president and CEO Kristen Beall Watson prepared the following hopeful Community Impact Report:
“In mid-March, the Foundation established the Kern County COVID-19 Relief Fund to address the immediate and longer-term needs of our region’s most vulnerable residents impacted by the Corona virus.”
Since then, she wrote, the fund has:
· Received $277,000 in corporate and individual donations;
· Issued $252,100 in five rounds of grants to Kern and Tulare County nonprofits using an expedited grant application and evaluation process, with the largest portion of grants supporting basic needs such as shelter, food and clothing for impacted individuals and families;
· And, just last week, set up the donation infrastructure for the Food for the Frontline effort “to provide meals prepared by local restaurants for Kern County emergency room staff. To date over $30,000 has been raised and hundreds of meals (670 at the last count) have been delivered to local area hospitals.”
"While response to these efforts represents the largest outpouring of support we have seen for any type of community disaster, the requests far exceed the available resources. Since mid-March we have received more than 123 grant applications requesting nearly $1.4 Million,” said Beall.
The 84 grants awarded so far are small, ranging from $500 to $15,000.
Organizations that have received funding include: Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault, Salvation Army, Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County, Community Action Partnership of Kern Food Bank, Bags 4 Kids, Adventist Health Hope Program, Wounded Heroes Fund, Bakersfield Senior Center and California Rural Legal Assistance.
Check here for the Foundation's Online Grants Portal.
Those wishing to contribute to the Kern County COVID-19 Relief Fund, or the Food for the Frontline effort, can make a secure, tax-deductible donation in one of the following ways:
· Online for COVID Relief: at kernfoundation.org > Give Now > Kern County COVID-19 Relief Fund; or
· Online for Food for the Frontline: at kernfoundation.org/events;
By check or phone for either:
· By mailing a check to Kern Community Foundation, 3300 Truxtun Avenue, Suite 220, Bakersfield, CA 93301, specifying “Kern County COVID-19 Relief Fund” or “Food for the Frontline” in the memo; or
· By phone using a major credit card. Please call (661) 325-5346 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.