NewsCovering Kern County


Bakersfield Advocacy Respect and Community Program shows the power of volunteering

Bakersfield ARC Volunteers
Posted at 5:43 PM, Jun 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 20:44:20-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — We've seen the generosity of Kern County residents time and time again while not asking for recognition. The clients of the Bakersfield Advocacy Respect and Community program have been volunteering with the California Living Museum since last fall but they just decided to introduce it to the public Thursday.

You might come to the CALM to meet a new animal friend or become one with nature. And as the director of the California Living Museum, Meg Maitland says volunteers with the Bakersfield ARC are a significant part of keeping CALM's native grounds beautiful.

Twice a week Bakersfield ARC works hard to do just that. Maitland says they help CALM's grounds and custodial crews with tasks such as cleaning windows, and exhibits, pulling weeds and laying out bark.

Bakersfield ARC's access program serves more than 100 people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Their program provides job development, day programs, assists with supported living, and volunteer opportunities like the one at CALM. A total of 24 clients volunteer in teams with Bakersfield ARC staff each week.

“Regardless of ability, people deserve and should be out in the community doing things and doing volunteer activities," explains President and CEO of Bakersfield ARC Shawn Kennemer. "We believe in strong communities. Not just people with disabilities but everyone should be volunteering in some aspect.”

Kennemer says their clients volunteer at other local museums too, like the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History and Science. On other days they do other fun community-building activities their clients are interested in like going bowling.

Coming up at 9 pm you'll meet one of the volunteers and hear about his passion for working hard and giving back.