BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — During Christmas Eve while many will be surrounded by family, friends, and loved ones, others aren't as fortunate.
Thanks to the Mission at Kern County, people who are less fortunate and in need, were able to gather round at a place that calls them family.
A lot of holiday cheer was in the air at the Mission at Kern County where folks came out to celebrate the holidays with a hot meal and Christmas music.
Hundreds of folks were greeted with love and open arms as they entered the “come to our table” to fellowship on Christmas Eve.
“Today we have our annual Christmas Eve meal, our 2021 Christmas Eve meal. We’re very excited. We have lots of activities going on right here at the mission. We have a traditional ham and scalloped potato, and green bean meal. We’re expecting five to six hundred people to arrive today. We’ve passed out flyers along the community and we’re hoping to have a great turnout to really bless a lot of people today,” said Jamie Durham, Director of Community Development, Mission at Kern County.
Special gifts were given to each individual as they left "come to our table" with full bellies and warm smiles.
“Behind me, we have shoe boxes that are filled with gifts that have been wrapped also by community members. All of this has been done by volunteers in our community,” said Durham.
Carlos Baldovinos, the Executive Director of Mission at Kern County, emphasized the importance of everybody have a family around this time of the year.
“Who doesn't want to be a part of a family during this time of year so we’re glad to do it. We’ve got everything rolled out for them from a meal to presents as they leave today. It’s something we’re just so happy and thrilled to do it. If you don't have family here, you are our family. You’re welcomed to the family,” said Baldovinos.
Brother Brooks has been at Mission at Kern County for a year now and is happy to have the support and foundation he needs. He is also very honored to be a part of the prayer team.
“I’ve been here a year, going on a year and now I am a part of the prayer team. What I learned here is to create a solid foundation. I’m a college graduate, and I’ve been homeless. But being here gave me a solid foundation,” said Brother Brooks.
The Mission at Kern County serves over 15,000 meals during the month of December.
Their annual “come to our table” is one of the many fellowship gatherings they provide to folks who are in need of a meal and holiday cheer during the holiday season.