BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but for some, the holidays can be a reminder of hard times. That’s why these little helpers volunteer year-round.
“For these people, it’s a part of the population that we serve, and we just wanted to do something a little extra for them,” said Robin Ackling, President of the Board of Directors for the Bakersfield Pet Food Pantry.
The Bakersfield Pet Food Pantry helps those in need by offering free pet-food pickup so owners can continue caring for their pets despite economic hardships. They also go above and beyond to help others in the community, even delivering meal boxes for low-income and disabled seniors at the Plaza Towers.
But this year, they’re looking to spread a little more cheer.
“There’s a whole list of things, slippers, a spa heating pad, and a night light, and this person picked slippers and note cards,” Ackling said.
At their office in Southwest Bakersfield, there’s a shiny golden Christmas tree draped with ornaments donning a senior’s name. The food pantry is asking community members to pick an ornament and help provide a gift of needed items for the senior.
“They could be isolated, they don’t have maybe family, or family’s so busy they don’t come visit often,” Ackiling said.
The ornaments each come with a list the senior has filled out of items they’d most like to receive. They are also color-coded depending on whether the senior has a pet cat or dog.
From cozy slippers to hot tea or cocoa, and maybe a little something for their furry feline or fido.
“For them it means everything and it means everything for them to keep that animal,” Ackiling said.
The Bakersfield Pet Food Pantry is located on 4500 Shepard Street. They’re asking the community to return gifts by December 18 so the gifts can be delivered the following week.