Leticia Carbajal-Espinoza CSUB Communications/Speech Class

Exerts from her communication speech...

We all have hidden talents, what are yours? What are you passionate about? Would you like to possibly learn new skills and meet new people?

"The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size, but by the depth of the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others"

Most people shy away from non-profit organizations because we think all they require is money to keep their organizations or projects afloat. However, volunteers are extremely essential in helping their organizations keep thriving. Today I introduce you to the Volunteer Center of Kern County. It's kind of like a one-stop shop for volunteers.

There are many agencies in Kern County that are in need of volunteers. This organization does not focus on just one need in the community, rather it matches volunteers to an organization based on the volunteers interests, strengths, availability and commitment. They work with three different types of volunteers. 1:  Those wanting to give their time.  2:  Those court ordered to do community service. 3:  55+ wanting to volunteer. They also get a lot of college and high school students wanting to volunteer for school credit. The type of assistance you can provide is endless as there are many organizations to choose from, such as Homeless Shelter, Gleaners, Kern County Food Bank, Alliance Against Family Violence, American Cancer Society, CASA, Habitat for Humanity, Kern Animal Shelter, and many more.

This organization has a contract with the County of Kern and is considered a Disaster Volunteer Center. They have provided volunteers for the Erskine Fire in Lake Isabella and the COVID drive-thru testing at the Kern County Fairgrounds in 2020.

Without volunteers some programs are being eliminated due to budget cuts which affect the community they service on a daily basis. This was especially true during the recent pandemic. With volunteers, organizations like the homeless shelters, the food bank and Gleaners were able to keep serving the community.

Who is affected in need of help one time or another? The young, the old, employed, disabled, female, male, poverty stricken, victims of violence. Illness and personal needs do not discriminate nor does it pick and choose who it will affect. It also has no racial barriers as it affects every race at one time or another.

So like me, I am sure monetary funds and time are limited. With work, family, life, school ad homework we are stretched. Maybe helping with the annual fan drive where they collect fans for the elderly for our oh so hot summers or volunteering for Keepers of the Cross Christmas Tree Lot in Oildale or helping at the Animal Shelter so these animals can get adopted might be something you could consider. These are just a few examples of things you can do that do not take too much of our time or do not cost much.

Once you realize OK, yes I only work weekends or part-time so I can probably spare a couple hours a week the possibilities are endless. Please consider volunteering today.

Their mission is to mobilize people and resources to deliver creative solutions to address community issues through volunteerism. I hope I was able to help you visualize yourself helping and making a difference in the lives of so many people within our community.