It’s a project started by teens for teens. Two local girls from Bakersfield High School have started collecting items to help teen mothers in need. Something they feel is important to start right here in Kern County.
Kern County has the highest birth rate in California with approximately 41 births per 1,000 teens according to Kern County Public Health. And for friends Temia Williams and Nigeria Manning this is a statistic they know all too well. Both of the high schoolers were born to teenaged parents and they have seen friends become pregnant as teens as well.
However last Christmas their eyes were really opened to just how hard and expensive it can be to raise a baby. “My little cousin was there and she was just crying and we were just talking about how we wanted to give back to babies and mothers in need. Because at the time her mother was going through something she couldn’t provide for her baby as much as she can so we just wanted to give back to teen mothers,” said Nigeria Manning, a senior at Bakersfield High School.
So the pair decided to start collecting anything that a baby needs calling their donation effort teens helping teens. They are looking to collect everything from diapers to strollers, and new or gently used clothes and blankets. “Basically giving back to teen parents who can’t afford anything or who have a hard time providing for their babies,” said Manning.
At first they were collecting donations at Manning’s house but then their school got involved letting them put out a donation bin. And even the Bakersfield Police Department has gotten involved and has donation bins at their Truxtun Avenue and Buena Vista Road locations. The pair says that the best thing they can do for those in need is help. “We can’t prevent it because it’s gonna happen anyway,” said Temia Williams, a senior at Bakersfield High School. After high school the girls plan to make it into a non-profit business that they can take to other cities and states to make change.
On March 24th from 10 a.m. until noon the girls will be handing out all the donations they collected at the Bakersfield Police Department on Truxtun. The girls say they look forward to meeting all the mothers that they are able to help.