United Way of Kern’s Chocolate Affair event returned to Bakersfield
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — United Way of Kern hosted its ninth annual chocolate affair this weekend. The event is a fundraiser where all proceeds go towards their programs that enhance childhood literacy throughout the community.
As the evening was filled with many chocolate desserts provided by local bakeries, all of the money that is raised by the support of the community is to help keep those programs running and also create new ones.
“United Way knows that we need to focus on early literacy here in Kern county and all over the world. We’ve seen data where if parents and caregivers focus on reading with their children and engaging with them at a young age they further their education in high school and in college. We see that and we know that we have to have that big of an impact here in Kern County,” said Director of Marketing and Development for United Way of Kern Gabriel Adame.
Adame says the focus of the programs are to help low income families from all across Kern.
The annual event first began back in 2015 and since then the organization has raised over $300,000.
“It’s one thing to see the numbers on our eventbrite app but it’s another to see the entire room full of our community members leaders that want to give back to such an amazing organization and programs. There’s this stigma that United Way is worldwide where funds go across the country but no, all of the funding stays here locally and it affects our local communities. To know that we are able to do that and specifically for me to be a part of this organization is truly amazing,” said Adame.
He says United Way understands that the foundation for the ability to read begins at birth or even before.
Listening to and interacting with parents and caregivers are the first steps to success.
“I think it’s going to help so much. We’ve had testimonials of families saying thank you so much for taking part in our child’s lives at such a young age because they will always remember that. We want to be able to create those memories and those feelings for the students and families,” said Adame.
However, their efforts don’t stop there. Adame says there’s an array of other departments they focus on such as economic resilience and health. The organization is always welcoming donations, volunteers, and community support.