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Five years after his death, Alejandro Vargas' family will feed the homeless in his memory

Vargas' mom tells me the event on Sunday will feed 250 people living in the Bakersfield Homeless Center
Posted at 10:23 AM, Jun 25, 2024
  • Video shows Alejandro Vargas with his family and events to serve the community after his death
  • In 2019, Alejandro Vargas died after being hit by a vehicle on Niles Street. To remember his five year death anniversary, his family plans to hold an event to feed the homeless in his honor.

Five years ago Alejandro Vargas was hit and killed in a crash here in East Bakersfield.
In recognition of his death anniversary on Sunday, his family organized an event for the community, which they say would make Alejandro proud.

Giselle Vargas says her favorite memory with her brother, Alejandro Vargas, is a trip to her grandma's house in the car.

“We were in the car and he was taking a video," she said. He was like, ‘I’m with my princess.’ He would call me his princess, and I loved whenever he would call me that because he was my favorite brother.”

But, the car also represents one of her worst memories, the night she drove with her family to Niles Street where Alejandro was hit by a vehicle.

“It was so quiet. No one was talking. Alvin was crying. I was just looking outside the window, thinking, “What happened to my brother?’” she told me through tears.

Alejandro died on June 30, 2019, at 13 years old.

To celebrate his 16th birthday, Alejandro’s mom, Josie Rosel held an event to feed families and homeless people at Beach Park.

Because she says it’s something her son loved to do.

“He was always like, ‘Mom, oh give a dollar to that person on the corner,’ and I was like ‘no, I can’t, I barely have it.’ He goes, ‘Mom, please,’ and so you know he would convince me,” Rosel said.

After that event, Rosel says she donated the leftovers to a local homeless shelter and made it her mission to one day feed the entire shelter for her son.

“We’re so grateful that her son chose to give back at such a young age because we don’t see that all the time,” Lauren Skidmore, the CEO of the Open Door Network, said.

She tells me a study conducted with California State University Bakersfield shows in 2023, the 350 volunteers with the network contributed $903,751.99 worth of volunteer hours.

“We couldn’t do what we do every day without the community supporting us,” she said.

On Sunday, Rosel says they’re feeding all 250 people living at the homeless shelter.

“My dream from 4 years ago is coming true, so I feel very very blessed in the memory of him that he’s making this happen,” she said.

On the fifth anniversary of his passing, it's a chance to give back just like her brother did.

“My brother would have loved this because he loved helping the homeless like loved like if he were here right now, he would have been happy for us,” Vargas said.

You can attend the event at 5 p.m. on Saturday at the Bakersfield Homeless Center.

Alejandro Vargas's family says the community has come together to put on an event to feed the homeless in Alejandro's name.

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