BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Children's Advocate Resources Endowment, known as CARE for short, has officially kicked off its grant application cycle.
Known in the community for raising funds to support local nonprofits, the organization is thrilled to be awarding even more funds to charities that specialize in serving children this year.
“I think that all of the donations and grants that we make throughout the year stand to benefit thousands of children within Kern County,” said Jim Luff, President of the Children’s Advocate Resources Endowment.
Luff said because of the pandemic many organizations thought they weren't giving out money this year but that couldn’t be further from the truth he says as long as you meet the requirements you can apply.
“The first qualification is an organization must be a 501C3 non-profit certified by the IRS to even be included the second focus must be to serve children.”
Luff said last year they were able to help so many worthwhile organizations. Including M.A.R.E riding center, a non-profit dedicated to equine-assisted therapy for people living with special needs and disabilities.
The Executive Director at M.A.R.E. Riding Center, Kimiko Kobayashi, said, “72% of our riders are children so it really applies to us, and we know that they like to get actual items or equipment that we could use.”
Kobayashi said her team was thrilled to receive the grant.
“When I got the news I got the grant, it was late at night, and I emailed and texted a bunch of board members like we got it we got it.”
Kobayashi said one of the best parts about applying to the grant was how easy it was with just a few clicks; she was able to fill out five boxes and apply and with the cares grants nonprofits can be awarded anywhere up to 10,000 dollars.
“We received 10,000 from them and we focused on updating our toys and our cognitive skills opportunities for kids at the alliance daycare and it's been a great asset for our teachers,” said Lauren Skidmore, CEO of the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault.
Skidmore said these new items really provided developmental opportunities for the kids.
“A lot of times we forget that basic outdoor adventure activities with a little magnifying glass looking for bugs or rocks or those types of things a little bit goes a long way.”
Luff said this is why he and his team work so hard to provide these grants.
“I can't even describe the feeling that it gives me when I see these children whether it means that we are sponsoring their soccer league or recently we paid for the train at calm to be repaired it’s a children’s train and we got the engine rebuilt and to see children ride that train give me great enjoyment.”