BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Blessing Corner held its annual 'Christmas Day Extravaganza' on Friday, aiming to give families in need a free meal and gifts.
The event has been going on for over two decades, and many of the people that are helped out by the event, say that in 2020, the help is more appreciated than ever.
“it’s been really challenging like I’ve been in between jobs," said Michael Drummer, who was first in line to recieve a meal and gifts with his family this morning.
“I had a job, I got fired from it," said Tumeka Baker, who was also one of the first in line with her family.
2020 hasn’t been the easiest for some people. But even in a year full of twists and turns, the Blessing Corner wanted to provide a little hope this Christmas.
“We’re helping any and everyone that has been impacted by Covid, said Bonnie Turner, Executive Director of Blessing Corner.
Throughout the event’s 23-year history, those usually helped are low-income, no-income, or homeless. But with many people falling on hard times amid the pandemic, the event aimed to help whoever lined up.
"We tend to believe that if they’re standing in this line, then they really need help, so everyone who comes will be served," Turner said.
All in all, The Blessing Corner says 3,000 items were given out. Most items were donated courtesy of what they call an angel donor.
“We have about 90 bikes that we’re gonna give away, skateboards, scooters, and it’s just to make things better for the families that you see lined up," Turner said.
Just over a thousand meals were given Friday. A few hundred were delivered to designated veterans, seniors, and homeless people, but most were given out at the event. Drummer says he waited over 5 hours so he could be first in line with his family.
“I look at it as a true blessing, you know it’s a true blessing, for people who might not have, especially in the times that we’re in with everything that’s taking place," he said.
The Blessing Corner could not give us an exact estimate as to how many people turned out Friday, but they say the demand seemed much bigger than years past.