It’s been a tricky yr for nonprofits. Most of their huge fundraisers happen within the spring and early fall, however not this yr. Group conferences are actually digital. It’s handy however not a lot enjoyable. Most of their places of work are closed and staffs are working from house, which makes contacting a nonprofit for recommendation or a referral very difficult.
4 native nonprofits have determined to hitch arms to create the Kern Most cancers Coalition. Jennifer Henry, the manager director for Hyperlinks for Life, is among the founding moms of the coalition, which she stated is a matter of want.
“We’re in a pandemic so we’re all on this collectively to assist the most cancers sufferers of Kern County,” she stated. “It’s about coming collectively to profit the most cancers sufferers and getting extra achieved.”
Hyperlinks for Life has a long-standing repute amongst most cancers sufferers. For ladies who’re uninsured or underinsured, the group supplies mammograms, ultrasounds, needle biopsies and a grocery card program to help breast most cancers sufferers in lively remedy. Additionally 5 help teams nonetheless meet to help one another.
“Our help teams are making do however they’re very excited to sometime have the ability to be collectively and hug one another,” Henry stated.
Michelle Avila, government director of the Kern County Most cancers Basis, which supplies monetary help for sufferers’ medical payments associated to most cancers remedy, agrees with Henry.
“We’ve supported one another’s organizations,” she stated. “However due to the pandemic, we’re struggling to lift what we usually do as a result of we weren’t capable of have the occasions that we usually maintain so we needed to suppose exterior the field. It simply made sense to mix our techniques of contacts to succeed in extra individuals.”
“I urged we contact Thumbs Up, Most cancers Down and the Josh Farler Basis. Now I get to work with people who find themselves obsessed with their organizations and their missions and that’s why we’ve come collectively,” Avila added.
For Mike Nipper, president of the Josh Farler Basis, it began with household. His nephew, Josh, was going to Idaho State on a soccer scholarship when he skilled groin issues.
“A physician recognized it as testicular most cancers,” stated Nipper. “Then there have been insurance coverage issues and his tumor burst with the most cancers spreading all through his physique.”
Remedies at USC meant touring to and from Nevada, often by Bakersfield the place his grandma lived. The household wanted cash for bills, and so the Josh Farler household hosted a poker event in that grandma’s yard.
“We raised round $16,000 to assist, however sadly Josh handed away in 2005 earlier than we may maintain the second occasion, so we appeared round and had been capable of assist a younger woman’s household from Josh’s hometown,” Nipper stated.
The third yr, the group approached Avila, acquiring affected person referrals from her.
“After just a few years, we grew to become a full-fledged nonprofit working with CBCC, the AIS Most cancers Heart and the Rio Bravo Most cancers Heart,” Nipper stated. “Our donations present fuel playing cards, journey vouchers and meals playing cards which can be for Kern County most cancers sufferers solely.”
Sufferers needing journey vouchers can apply on the web site joshfarler.org
The most recent member of the crew is Thumbs Up, Most cancers Down, co-founded by Kevin Charette.
“Really we’re neighbors with Hyperlinks for Life,” stated Charette. “Whereas on the lookout for new workplace house, she and I began speaking about how I may assist her nonprofit and he or she may assist ours, and her thought was the coalition.”
Thumbs Up supplies Energy Up Packs to most cancers sufferers in remedy with a blanket, a beanie for sufferers dropping their hair, a telephone charger and a diary and pen to maintain monitor of appointments. COVID-19, nonetheless, has modified that too.
“Often we go away them on the facilities at hand out to their sufferers, however now we will be contacted by our web site and we ship the pack to them,” stated Charette.
The coalition’s first group fundraiser is Jan. 20, 2021, at Compassion Nook, situated on the intersection of twenty second and L streets in downtown Bakersfield. Henry stated it’s going to provide a deep pit barbecue sandwich, chips, a drink and a cookie for $15 per plate. Supporters pays that day, masks are anticipated and all security precautions shall be in impact, and it goes to an amazing trigger — really, 4.
Sylvia Cariker is on the Hyperlinks for Life Board of Administrators.