NewsCovering Kern County


Volunteers spread holiday cheer at the Mission at Kern

The Mission at Kern County
Posted at 7:15 PM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 04:11:12-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — During the holiday season, some prefer to give rather than receive. That is the case for a group of volunteers who are giving their time to spread the holiday cheer to the Mission at Kern.

Bells were ringing, feet were tapping, and hands were clapping, as those who do not have a door to open to carolers, enjoyed the songs of Christmas.

One of those is Nicolas Peraza who has been staying at the mission for two months and is now a volunteer helping others in a similar situation get a warm bed for the night.

“Something enjoying to watch and having the opportunity to have individuals come sing to us gave us cheerful things to think about,” said Peraza.

But aside from the entertainment, they get when groups like these come to the mission at kern, it is the time they spent that is the biggest gift.

“The fact that they do it, that they are willing to give to the community to help the individuals that are in needing of more, to help them get back on their feet and help them get out into the world,” said Peraza.

For Peraza this time has been difficult, but he said he is making the best out of his situation and is looking forward to the new year to get a fresh start.

That is the kind of good spirits that Andy Hensel with the Golden Empire Chorus wanted to spread with the performance.

“This is kind of a thing you do at Christmas time, but as one of our songs says, it is not what you do on Christmas day, it is the Christmas thing you do all year long that really capture the spirit of Christmas,” said Hensel.

That is exactly what they did, even if the songs lasted just a couple of minutes, it brought some holiday cheer to the lives of those who may not have much right now.

“We try to make it a family atmosphere as much as we can, but a lot of people have lost their families or maybe even been ostracized from their families so hopefully, we are that family for them,” said Steve Paterson, Director of Programs, Mission at Kern County.