Christmas for seniors and veterans in need

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Adventist Health and KGET want to honor those who make Kern County a better place to live. With Christmas coming in just days, people around Kern County are getting ready to celebrate.

That includes groups wanting to share the festive sprit with veterans and seniors who are limited this holiday season because of financial hardships.

Christmas for Seniors, this was the group that just weeks ago stuffed multiple busses with gifts and necessities for vets and seniors across Kern. Now, they planned one more mission. Give more gifts and supplies to seniors facing financial hardship.

You could hear it, see it and feel it as you walked into what seemed like Santa’s workshop. It was the Christmas sprit.

Gifts upon gifts in rows that filled large spaces throughout the building all going to veterans in need. The group rushing to load the gifts in the truck and go.

“They always think they want to be done before Christmas Eve and they always end up saying yes to that last minute request and they did this time so they had enough goods to put together 125 necessity bags and 125 gift bags for low income veterans in need,” Laurie Howlett the marketing representative for Bakersfield Family Medical Center said. “So a really special last minute delivery that they are taking care of here on top of the 1200 other gifts they already have taken care of this year.”

There were two sets of gifts. One set contained necessities like paper towels, toilet paper, and shaving cream. While the other was filled with blankets, appliances and clothes.

This holiday season, they gave out more than 1,300 gifts which was a new and unexpected milestone.

“Normally it’s around 1200 and still feeling the COVID, we weren’t sure how many would go out this year so 1300 is quite a bit for us. We’re very excited about it,” Kathleen Dickey the president of Christmas for Seniors for Kern County said.

Another group was also giving gifts. The Blessing Corner packed presents for 250 seniors. Their goal was to help seniors struggling financially with gifts like food and household items.

“We’ve been empowered by a very generous donor to provide gift cards to the seniors this year,” Bonnie Turner a pastor with Blessing Corner said. “These scarfs are handmade for the seniors as well and of course we have food baskets and household slash toiletry items that we’re getting ready to go to their facility.”

Blessing Corner and Christmas for Seniors say people should think about giving to seniors regularly, they need help, not just during the holidays. Turner says, seniors are prone to suffer in silence so any donations are well accepted.

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