BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The pandemic has created a tough year for many organizations, including nonprofits, and even though Christmas may be over the spirit of giving isn't for one local business owner. Alejandro Ocampo is the owner of several local restaurants such as Vida Vegan and Bakersfield Pizza company. He said that since the beginning of the year his family-owned businesses has been saving money to give back to local organizations, and they call it the 12 Days of Kindness.
"We are just really excited to do it, regardless of our current situation. It's been really neat sharing our blessings with our community," said Ocampo.
From Christmas to January 5th, they'll be donating $1,000 to 12 organizations throughout Bakersfield.
"The community has given us so much, and this year has been very interesting...and we wanted to get together and do something for our community that does so much for us," said Ocampo.
On Monday, Ocampo and his brother made a donation to the Wounded Heroes Fund, a local nonprofit in Bakersfield.
Wendy porter, the Executive Director said her organization relies solely on private donations and grants, which she says have slowed down since the pandemic began. Porter adding that many of the fund-raising events that would normally take place they haven't been able to do. She told 23ABC she's grateful for the donation.
"A thousand dollars is a huge amount, right? So, that's some veterans lives and families that are going to be helped...saved maybe," said Porter.
Daniel Maestas, a former army veteran who now volunteers at Wounded Heroes Fund told 23ABC the donation can help keep their services going for veterans who need support more than ever during this time.
"We definitely want to keep veterans close to other veterans to retain that comradery, to be able to vent to be able to share to offload, and create a healthy home environment," said Maestas.
The other organizations Ocampo and his family decided to donate to include:
Bakersfield burrito project
Bakersfield Ronald McDonald house
Kern law enforcement association
Bakersfield police activities league
Kern county cancer foundation
Alliance against family violence
Bakersfield homeless shelter
Ocampo said they hope that by doing this other business in the community can also help local organizations that may be struggling and they plan on carrying on the tradition next Christmas.