Supporters gather around Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall in support of the first Give Big Kern fundraising event in 2016. 

Californian file photo

If you are looking to give back to Kern County, look no further. Give Big Kern gives residents the opportunity to give from the comfort of their own homes just by pulling out their mobile device or computer and logging onto the website.

But if you were wanting to do more – get out there and help make a change – there are also volunteer opportunities for various nonprofits.

Give Big Kern, now entering its second year, will be happening on May 2. It is a 24-hour event that aims to bring the county together and showcase the nonprofits participating and show the community what good lies within Kern County’s borders.

Kern Community Foundation President/CEO Kristen Beall Barnes and a group of three are pushing for this year’s Give Big Kern to be bigger and better.

According to Beall Barnes, last year’s event “ended up generating $177,000 that went directly to the nonprofits. That was a combination of donations from existing support and new people. … We also gathered 74,000 volunteer hours.”

There is a lot that Kern Community Foundation does to prep for the Give Big Kern event. The nonprofits that sign up for the event are able to do so without a cost. They provide the nonprofits with trainings that happen weekly starting in January and runs till two weeks after the event. These are all free for those that sign up.

The trainings range from how to control social media and getting their name out there; what they are to do after the event, after they have been given funds and support; and how will they grow. The goal is to help bring a full circle to these causes to help them grow once they are given the right tools.

“Nonprofit strengthening is one of our strategic initiatives,” Beall Barnes said. “We know that there are thousands of nonprofits just here in Kern County and they play a vital role in our community. They really do amazing things, not only for the causes they care about, but if we think about it, they are an economic drive; they are a source of employment for hundreds of people and they really just speak to the heart of the community and make the community a better place.”

Sponsorships range from bronze to diamond and help with promotions and opportunities to be seen at the Give Big Event and its website. For sponsorships inquiries, contact Rachel Evey at 616-2603 or rachel@kernfoundation.org.

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