BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — As homelessness continues to be a signature issue here in Kern County, there have been many community efforts to give back.
23ABC’s Breanna Polk spoke with a local organization that aims to make a difference for the less fortunate, at the start of every year.
Each New Year’s Day Dr. Naina and Ravi Patel bring comfort and compassion to “Kern County’s Homeless and Needy”.
“We load up the trucks and the guys, they get it over there and so everybody comes together. We make sure that at least it's still happening. It might not be our normal tradition, but we want to continue to make sure we’re giving back,” said Alissa Turner, Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center Office Manager.
Turner explains that although the pandemic has altered their normal routine, it has not stopped them from being a helping hand to the less fortunate.
“We made full on Turkey meals with mashed potatoes, vegetables, salads, even dessert with a pie. We also put together care packages for everybody. Sweatshirts, clothing items, and hygiene things,” said Turner.
For the past nineteen years, the Ravi and Naina Foundation have made sure that those who need a little extra encouragement into the new year are taken care of by the generosity of the CDCC.
“We understand the overabundance of homeless people. They’re not able to stay indoors all the time so we want to make sure everybody is at least trying to be taken care of as much as possible,” said Turner.
She added that the volunteers and donations are what make all the difference for these people in dire need.
“We love everybody. Our hearts, our compassion, our empathy for everyone in this time of need.”
Dr. Ravi Patel of the CDCC explains that he sees the world as his family and that we are all the same despite our present circumstances.
“Who’s not doing too well? Let’s reach out to them. There should be no distance, no separation. We’re a part of the same collective human race.”
This new year’s event was made possible with partnerships of the Bakersfield Rescue Mission, Homeless Center, and Health and Wellness Cafe.
Dr. Patel told 23ABC that as this is their nineteenth year doing this. They do foresee doing many more in the future to continue to be helping hand to the homeless community and to those who are in need.