One year after launching their non-profit, three local sisters are bringing their mission to the Kern County Fair–spreading kindness while helping charities.
Their message: “kind girls make strong women.”
The organization started as a band-aid for middle school bullies–then ballooned into something bigger.
“I was going into junior high, and junior high’s not really a nice place, so we wanted to spread a little more kindness,” said 13-year-old Kaela Wilstead, who founded the group with her two sisters.
“We love the stories that we’re given of, ‘my daughter was bullied, we got a shirt for my daughter and her bully,'” said the girls’ mother, Clarissa.
Since launching Kind Girls Make Strong Women one year ago, they’ve raised about $10,000 for various charities.
“Imagine that–in middle school, being able to feel like you’re making a difference at such a young age–and to actually make that difference–not just think that you are, but really doing that,” Clarissa said.
They usually sell apparel–shirts, bags, hats–benefitting organizations from Cap K to the local junior Olympic team.
At the fair, they have a $5 photo booth with all proceeds going to HALT, Helping Animals Live Tomorrow. Next month, their fundraiser will benefit Young Writers of Kern.
Along the way, they spread messages of kindness and empowerment.
“No matter who you are or what gender you are, or wherever you may be, you can do whatever you want,” said 11-year-old Ava.
It’s a lofty project for young ladies aspiring to be role models. But they say their own role model is their mother.
“She’s been so inspirational. She’s always supported us for all the things that we’ve done,” Ava said. “Whenever we do a vendor event, whenever we just do something–she takes away that time that she could be doing something else.”
Their kindness revolution is spreading. The girls are usually the ones giving, but at the fair, Henley’s Photo in Downtown Bakersfield donated the photo booth.
“It’s starting to become like a Bakersfield mesh pot of people wanting to give, whether that’s personal or corporate, and that’s been the beauty of it,” Clarissa said.
The girls will soon bring their manufacturing local as well. And they’re adding a new slogan: ‘Strong is Kind,’ so the message resonates not just with young women, but young men as well.
You can visit their photo booth at the Fair inside Building 1, between Grand Avenue and Main Street. You can also find them online at kindgirlsmakestrongwomen.com.