Giveaways

70 Wishes

Kids waiting on their wishes from Strata Credit Union

Tell Us Your Wish

70 wishes for 70 years of service in Kern County

In honor of our 70th Anniversary, Strata CU is committing to fulfilling 70 wishes in our local community. Part of being a credit union is giving back to the community. We invite you to submit a wish on behalf of an individual or an organization that you feel is in need of a little help. We look forward to fulfilling 70 wishes by the end of 2019.

We wanted to do something special in celebration of our 70th anniversary that encompasses the foundational philosophy of the credit union movement. Credit Unions have always been about “people helping people.” With the help of our community, we will grant a total of 70 wishes for individuals or organizations that are in need right here in our community whose wishes will be submitted by someone on their behalf.

— Brandon Ivie, CEO

Easy as 1,2,3

Submit your wish

Our committee will evaluate needs

70 recipients will be chosen by 12/30/2019

70 Wishes Entry

1 Nominee Info
2 Sponsor Info
3 Wish Info
  • Individual or Organization Full Name residing in Kern County
  • Address

Rules

  1. Individual or organization must reside in Kern County
  2. Staff and members of their family are not eligible for wishes
  3. Membership at Strata Credit Union not necessary to nominate or receive a wish
  4. Wishes are to be described in detail.
  5. Nominations will be reviewed by the 70 Wishes Committee and recipients will be contacted directly.
  6. Selected wishes will be fulfilled by 12/30/2019

Wish #29 Backpacks & School Supplies for Thousands of Local Children

Back to school week can be an exciting time for many students. A new backpack, a fresh haircut, a new pair shoes, or a fresh pack of pens can give children a helpful boost of confidence. Back to school week can also be stressful for children and families who lack the resources to provide these things. That is why Strata Credit Union is pitching in to help!

The Kern County Department of Child Support Services is holding its 10th Annual Ready-Set Back 2 School event on Thursday, August 8, 2019, at the Kern County Fairgrounds. Ready-Set Back 2 School is a free community health and wellness fair that helps so many local families with their back to school needs.

The event is supported entirely by local fundraising efforts by employees and sponsors who purchase all the backpacks and school supplies for our local children. The event also provides useful resources and information for education, immunizations, nutrition, medical, dental, counseling, services for the disabled, free children’s haircuts, legal services, veteran services, and so much more.

wish29

If you would like more information about donating or becoming a sponsor of Ready-Set Back 2 School, please call (661) 868-0647 or email [email protected]

We can all help send Kern County children “Back 2 School” with new backpacks and school supplies this year!

Wish #28: Trona Community Chest Disaster Relief

Residents of small towns like Trona are still facing much devastation after the earthquakes near the Ridgecrest area last week. The response by the Red Cross, State, County and Local officials and the Bakersfield community at large has been amazing and the recovery efforts are underway.

However, this morning we were contacted by local residents Lola Nickell and Nicole Crandall-Melson who have friends and family living in the outlying community of Trona. We were made aware that the situation is still dire for many displaced residents of this small community that lies just outside of the Kern County line. Nicole’s family helped organize the Garces Memorial water drive for Trona that is also still taking place.
We were given a wish list that included hardware supplies, cleaning supplies, hygiene items, paper goods, first aid and safety supplies. Today our staff wasted no time. We hit the streets and stores to fulfill wish #28.

**** Both monetary and in-kind donations are still needed! Monetary donations can be made to the Trona Community Chest Disaster Relief fund via your financial institution to account number #53955 at Desert Valley Federal Credit Union. Checks can be mailed to Trona Community Chest at P.O. Box 413, Trona, CA 93592. All funds received by the Trona Community Chest stays in Trona.

Loading up company car for delivery

A supplies delivery will leave Bakersfield on Friday 7/12 heading for Trona at 1:00 p.m. Donations can be taken to the Melson family in Bakersfield at 3509 Pacer Street, Bakersfield, CA 93308, now through 12:00 p.m. on Friday.

Supplies that are still needed:

  • Large storage bins with lids
  • Push and regular brooms to sweep up broken glass
  • Work Gloves
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Shovels
  • Big plastic trash cans
  • Storage racks
  • First Aid Kits

Wish #27 - A Mother's Wish to Get Healthy

Local Mom, Ms. Flossie White, submitted a wish on behalf of her and her oldest daughter to “get in shape and become more healthy.” Ms. White told us that she and her daughter needed a little help to get on the right track and that they wanted to make a change for good.

Ms. White initially wished for a commercial treadmill noting that her daughter was interested in a gym membership but that they simply couldn’t commit financially.

We were inspired by their wish and determined to help set them up for success! We found a long-term solution to support their quest and signed Flossie and her daughter up for gym memberships complete with personal fitness training, nutrition counseling, day care services for Ms. White’s younger child, a gift card for workout clothing and healthy groceries to fill their fridge and pantry.

A mothers wish

We are so excited for Flossie and her daughter! The two have asked us to check back with them in 6 months to share in the success of their progress. We can’t wait and wish these two determined ladies the best of health!

Wish #26 – Bethel Apostolic Academy 4-H Club – “Project Greenhouse”

“Project Greenhouse” of the Bethel Academy 4-H Club is a hands-on learning program that teaches children about the economic and business aspects involved in agriculture. The program was designed to teach students how to grow plants and vegetables based on proper structure, soil, fertilization, seeding, germination and the final product of the plant and vegetable itself.

Their lab exercises include exploring the stem, embryo and insects encountered when growing crops, and how to prepare, can, store and dehydrate fresh food. In addition, the program promotes healthier eating habits and teaches children to understand the process of “Farm to Market,” and “Farm to Fork.”

This wish was submitted by Ag instructor, Caren Floyd who said the 4-H Club was in need of various supplies including siding and fencing to help finish construction of their greenhouse. We visited the site where all the construction was taking place and were truly impressed by the entire area, how well-planned the site was and how hard the students were working to build their greenhouse.

On Saturday, July 13th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Bethel’s Agriculture 4-H will be holding their first annual Farmer’s Market and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony located at 1418 W. Columbus Street. They are looking for vendors (free to participate) who would like a booth to sell their products and services at. They are seeking vendors that offer information about health and nutrition, nurseries, food vendors, fruit and vegetable farmers, clothing vendors and more. For all the details please contact Caren Floyd at 661-800-8808.

BethelWish1

Congratulations Bethel Apostolic Academy 4-H Club. Your greenhouse is simply wonderful and we wish you the best at your Farmer’s Market!

Wish #25: Bakersfield Homeless Center

Pauline V, long-time Strata CU member, nominated this organization because of the impact she sees it makes in our community.

The Bakersfield Homeless Center provides year-round emergency shelter, food, clothing, housing assistance, job development training and supportive services to homeless and low-income families and individuals in our community. BHC is the only homeless center that serves women and children in Kern County. On average, over 100 children a night stay at BHC; sleeping warm, snug and well fed. For school age children, their Champ Camp after school program makes learning fun and helps keep children in difficult circumstances from falling behind their classmates.

Unique to BHC is Discovery Depot Child Care Center, the first licensed child care center in California located at a homeless shelter. BHC is extremely proud of the Job Development Program that helps put people back to work and into homes! Labor crews from BHC are the perfect solution for companies or government agencies needing to supplement their current workforce. Their work crews benefit by developing professional maturity, job skills, work ethic and progress toward continuous employment and self-sufficiency.

Wish 25 Homeless shelter

We reached out and learned that the BHC gladly accepts help in all forms: monetary donations, goods, services, and volunteer work. Learn more at: https://bakhc.org/.

Wish #24 Scholarships for Tomorrow’s Nurses

This wish was submitted on behalf of the Vidora Hair Extensions scholarship fund. This local business has a very specific vision for creating goodwill in the community: help struggling single mothers by giving them a pathway into a high paying, high demand career – nursing. This year Vidora Hair Extensions, with a little help from Strata Credit Union, was able to provide six young women with $1,000 for their scholarship fund to help them on their journeys through the nursing programs at CSUB and Bakersfield College.

ViaDora

More information on this scholarship can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/VidoraHairEx/

Wish #23: The Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County.

he Boys & Girls Clubs serve 7,200 children a day in our community! The Clubs provide services and programs to benefit the growth and success of our children. The Clubs also help fill the gap between school and home and provide welcoming, positive environments in which kids and teens have fun, participate in life-changing programs, and build supportive relationships with peers and caring adults.

We had an opportunity to tour one of our local Boys & Girls Clubs, headed by Executive Director, Zane Smith and we were simply amazed by all the activities that are available to children in our community! Activities available include performing and visual arts, STEM, sports, music, culinary skills, job skills, health and fitness, gardening, literacy and so much more.

Boys & Girls Clubs have many fundraising events throughout the year. One of the most popular is “Farm to Table(aux),” that will take place on October 4th. This event brings together community-minded, philanthropic art and food lovers to enjoy a feast of fresh and seasonal dishes prepared by local chefs and farmers alongside the imaginative productions and performances of local artists and entertainers. Members of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kern County will auction their original artwork (based off the work of Van Gogh), that spotlight the artistic talent of these children.

Wish 23 at Boys and girls club

We look forward to working with The Boys & Girls Clubs to help children in our community and if you would like to help support their efforts as well, please visit: https://www.bgclubsofkerncounty.org/donate?blm_aid=0

Wish #22: A Special Father’s Day Wish

Our 22nd wish of Strata’s “70 Wishes,” was fulfilled for a local Dad, Grandpa, and U.S. Marine Veteran, Mr. Gary Huff, just in time for Father’s Day.

Nominated by his family, including children, Dewayne, Aaron and Jason and his 6 grandchildren, we learned why Mr. Huff is so special to them all.

Determined to get Mr. Huff back on the lake, the kids reached out for a little help. With funding to get his boat repaired, a new rolling Nomad tackle and bait storage case, new fishing hat and some extra money to spend at his favorite rod and tackle shop, we’re sure to have Mr. Huff back on the lake in no time.

Wish 22 Fathers day

Wish #21: A New Drum Kit for Anthony

Our 21st recipient of Strata’s “70 Wishes,” is an amazingly talented local drummer by the name of Anthony Rodriguez. It was long-time member, American Labor Leader and dedicated Jazz fan, Ms. Dolores Huerta who submitted a wish on his behalf with the hope that Anthony could have a drum set of his own. Ms. Huerta met the visually impaired drummer at a Bakersfield Jazz Workshop at Temblor Brewing Co. one evening and became a fan immediately. Anthony performs locally in multiple bands using a borrowed drum set to perform with. The wish was for us to purchase a drum kit for him that he could be proud of and be able to call his own.

Wish #20: Keeping the Artistic Heritage of Jazz Alive in Our Community!

Our 20th wish recipient is The Bakersfield Jazz Workshop. The Bakersfield Jazz Workshop is a nonprofit organization that supports the education of jazz students, advancement of jazz musicians, enrichment of jazz enjoyment for the general public, and promotion of jazz in our community. They provide a supportive environment that brings together outstanding performers and teachers along with students and listeners of all abilities and backgrounds, and offer classes, resources, and performances to expand and preserve this original American art form.

It was a pleasure for us to witness the many performers working together to make such inspiring music at their most recent workshop. This season’s workshops are every Tuesday at Temblor starting at 6:30 p.m.

Wish 20 Jazz Workshop

The Bakersfield Jazz Workshop Founder and CEO, Steve Eisen began the workshop in 2006 and the program continues to thrive with support from the community, its performers and a dedicated board. To learn more, donate, or participate in The Jazz Workshop, please visit: http://www.bakersfieldjazzworkshop.com/donations-and-sponsor-ships-for-the-bakersfield-jazz-workshop/

Wish #19: Relief From the Heat

For wish #19 we have installed an air conditioning unit in her home that is sure to keep her nice and cool when the mercury soars past the century mark, for many summers to come.

According to a family friend who anonymously submitted this nomination, our recipient is a “kind woman who’d never ask for help nor could she afford to repair her A/C on her own.” Our recipient told her friend that her air conditioning system had gone out and that she planned on just “toughing it out” through the heat of the summer.

Wish 19 Heat

For those in an emergency situation, several cooling centers are offered throughout the county, thanks to a generous grant from PG&E. For the hours and daily status of these cooling centers please visit: https://www.kerncounty.com/pio/coolingcenters.aspx

Wish #18: Supporting the Children and Families of Bakersfield

For wish #18, Strata Credit Union is providing support for the Children First program and participating in the upcoming festival. Our team will be on site with free school supplies, prizes, and resources to help families establish savings plans for their children.

East Bakersfield Festival will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2019, from 11a.m. to 4p.m. at Jefferson Park. Click here for all the details: https://childrenfirstcampaign.org/upcoming-events.

 

East bakersfield festival

If you’d like to contribute to the Children First Campaign or volunteer please visit: https://childrenfirstcampaign.org/

Wish #17: Mutts and Runts

Mutts and Runts Rescue was founded by Brandi Reed when she realized the large number of strays, neglected and often abused animals that are in Bakersfield.

While visiting with Brandi and two of her rescues, Dilly and Sweetie, we learned that there is a great need for foster families due to the overpopulation of dogs in Kern County and that to date, Mutts and Runts Rescue has found loving homes for over 400 dogs. Upon intake, they provide medical care, vaccines, behavioral training and sometimes physical therapy. Rescues remain in their care until they find their forever families.

Mutts and Runts

Contact Mutts and Runts if you’d like to foster or rescue a sweet four-legged friend of your own today!

For more information or to participate in their upcoming Sporting Clays Fundraising Tournament, please send an email to: [email protected]

To donate, please visit: https://www.adoptapet.com/muttsandruntsrescue/donate

Wish #16: Giving the Power of Art to Students

Mrs. Karen Engel, a parent of a previous student of Mr. Joseph’s submitted a wish on his behalf stating that he was “so caring and such an inspiration to his students. He can make a kid with no artistic skills into a Picasso… who many times has used his own money for supplies for is growing art class.”

We were excited to contribute to his efforts of keeping art alive by giving him a gift certificate to his go-to art supply store along with an art cart, brushes, paint trays and canvases. We appreciate all the hard work and love he puts into his teaching career and our youth. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week Mr. Joseph!

scott josephWISH

Wish #15: A Relaxation Station for a Very Deserving Teacher during Teacher Appreciation Week!

Our 15th recipient of Strata’s “70 Wishes,” is Olive Drive Elementary school teacher, Mrs. Bobbi Brown. Head Room Parent, Ms. Stephanie Crisostomo submitted a nomination on Mrs. Brown’s behalf saying that she “pours an abundant amount of compassion, time, energy and her own money to ensure an amazing learning environment for her first year students.” Her wish was for us to help make Mrs. Brown’s resource room a place she could unwind and recharge in-between classes. We helped supply her with a few items for the resource room that would make it somewhat of a retreat that includes extra storage, a microwave, and a few other items that are sure to help transform her space to a place she can relax. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week Mrs. Brown!

Bobbi Brown Olive Drive Elementary Wish 15

Wish #14: Giving Sole to the Standard Elementary Shoe Closet.

Our 14th wish recipient of Strata’s “70 Wishes” is for the Standard Elementary Shoe Closet. Ms. Amanda Peirce, a regular substitute teacher at Standard Elementary, submitted a nomination on behalf of the school requesting that we fill the depleted shoe closet. She said that “the school does its best to provide shoes to students in need, but the closet is nearing empty.”

With help from our staff, we supplied 100 pairs of new shoes and a rolling storage rack to replenish the shoe closet and provide storage for them.

Standard shoe pantry Wish

Wish #13: A trip to the “Happiest Place on Earth” for a strong little boy and his family

Ms. Melinda Gordon of Arvin submitted a nomination for her 4 year-old grandson and his family to take a much-needed break from the many trials the family has undergone over the past four years. Melinda’s grandson Ethan was diagnosed with Congenital Heart Defect at birth and at just two days old, he’d undergone his first of 5 open-heart surgeries.

Ethan is a fighter and has fought his way through some tough first years. Since his last surgery, Ethan has improved tremendously and he and his family finally have an opportunity to take a break from the many long-term hospital stays. He has a long road ahead of him, but for now he has the opportunity to celebrate his 4th birthday at the Happiest Place on Earth. Happy Birthday Ethan! May you have the greatest experience at Disneyland with your brother, sister and family!

Ethan trip to disneyland

Wish #12: M.A.R.E. (Mastering Abilities Riding Equines) Therapeutic Riding Center

M.A.R.E. was nominated for a wish by local Girl Scout Troop #3450 who learned that the riding center was in need of funding and beautification to help kick off their fundraising season. The troop requested help to secure enough soil and flowers to plant in the flower beds that surround the facility.

MARE planter

M.A.R.E. provides equine-assisted therapies and activities for people living with special needs and disabilities. They serve over 50 riders each week and have 11 horses that require daily care.

Wish #11: Food Security for CSUB Students

On Saturday 4/20/19, hundreds of community members came out to our Riverlakes Branch for free recycling and document shredding. Many of them also brought in non-perishable food and cash donations to the food pantry and took home edible gardening starter kits. At the end of a long day of planting, collecting donations and educating the community on the benefits of edible gardening, CSUB’s team went home with one last contribution from Strata Credit Union as our 11th Wish recipient.

Group photo giving donation to food pantry

Wish #10: Kern Bridges Youth Homes

Our 10th recipient of Strata’s “70 Wishes,” is Kern Bridges Youth Homes (KBYH). KBYH is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a safe, stable, and consistent environment for children ages 0-21 years old. They offer continuous training, support, and encouragement to their Foster Families to ensure they are equipped to provide short-term, long-term and in some cases adoptive homes to match the various needs of children in their care.

Group Photo with Kern Bridges

Wish #9: Farmworker Institute of Education and Leadership Development

Wish #9! Our ninth recipient of Strata’s “70 Wishes,” is FIELD (Farmworker Institute of Education and Leadership Development). FIELD was founded in 1978 by Cesar Chavez to promote economic and social prosperity in rural communities for Latinos, working people, and their families. FIELD offers English as a Second Language (ESL) and literacy classes to adults over the age of 18 via “EPIC de Cesar Chavez,” which is a fully accredited charter high school for adults. Non-native English speakers are taught the skills needed to improve and integrate their basic reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. If you’d like to help support the efforts of FIELD, please join us on April 24, 2019 for the 3rd annual breakfast of Cesar Chavez.

Field

Wish #8: A Family Reunited

Local resident Beatrice Bryant (age 91) has been separated for many years and by many miles, from Latesha James, her granddaughter who she raised from birth. Latesha lives in South Carolina. Work, life, and finances have kept them apart. Beatrice’s daughter Robin Hartney (Latesha’s Aunt) submitted a wish to help bring Latesha and her Grandmother together. On Saturday, April 6th, we made this wish come true.

We arranged the airfare, Robin rallied together family, friends, and even a few Strata Credit Union staff to join in a big surprise reunion at Meadows Field Airport. What a special moment it was!

Latesha

Wish #7: Relay for Life

For our 7th wish we are picking up the baton and jumping back in the race to find a cure, with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
Over the years as Kern Federal Credit Union, we made some incredible memories out at the Relay. We laughed as we played silly games, we cried as we reflected lost loved ones, we cheered on those fighting their battles, we stayed up way too late, and we’ve even “dressed up” on occasion. Fulfilling this wish to sponsor the 2019 Relay for Life was like reconnecting with an old friend.

Relay for life

Thank you to all of our current and past employees, friends, and families for supporting this event over the years. We wish the very best to all of the other teams and supporters of Relay for Life 2019.

Wish #6: All Star Bowl

Wish #6! Our 6th recipient of Strata’s “70 Wishes,” is The U.S. Army All Star Bowl. The All Star Bowl is a high school football game that showcases the county’s best football players and cheerleaders one last time! It is the only High School All Star Bowl played in an arena in the United States. Funds raised through sponsorships and ticket sales go directly towards the organizations scholarship program. The wish was to raise more money for the scholarships that will be given this year. This year’s bowl will take place on April 26th, 2019 at Rabobank Arena. Visit the Rabobank Arena Box Office to purchase tickets for this year’s game.

all star bowl

Congratulations to Stephanie Verrell and all of the participants and scholarship recipients at this year’s U.S. Army All Star Bowl!

Wish #5: Children's Miracle Network

Wish #5! Our 5th recipient of Strata’s “70 Wishes,” is Children’s Miracle Network. The Lauren Small Children’s Center at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital cares for 37,000 children every year. Donations made to the Bakersfield Memorial Hospital (BMH) Foundation through the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) program help provide state-of-the art, life-saving equipment and assists with capital improvement projects for the Lauren Small Children’s Center. The BMH Foundation is Kern County’s only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital partner. 100% of funds raised with this program locally, stays right here in Kern County.

Group picture of children miracle network

Congratulations to Robin Woodward and the whole Children’s Miracle Network team for making Miracles happens in Kern County. Find out how you can “Put Your Money Where the Miracles Are” at: www.MiracleMaker.org

Wish #4: Arvin Color Guard

Wish #4! Our 4th recipient of Strata’s “70 Wishes,” is the Arvin High School Color Guard! Word got back to us tonight that time was running short for this talented group to raise the funds needed to cover their transportation expenses to compete at the WGI World Championships in Dayton, OH, April 3-6th.

Arvin Color Guard 2019

Congratulations to Arvin High School’s Color Guard! We are proud of you!

Wish #3: Kern County Basque Club’s Basque Dancers

Our 3rd recipient of Strata’s “70 Wishes,” is the Kern County Basque Club’s Basque Dancers. The dance group was formed in the early 1950’s by members of the organization to keep the tradition of folk dancing alive within the Basque community. Volunteers of The Kern County Basque Club have kept the tradition going strong in Bakersfield for over 60 years.

Current teachers Ashleigh Rossi, Elizabeth Othart and Josette McCrary performed in the dance group growing up and now volunteer, teaching children of members a variety of traditional Basque dances for their annual performances at the Kern County Basque Festival.

 

Basque Club can Dance

Renee Iturriria, a parent of one of the performers, submitted a nomination to upgrade the dancers 15-year old, not-so-portable music device to a more modern Bluetooth stereo for easier use and portability. The system is needed for their weekly practices and for fundraising events throughout Kern County.

Wish #2: Kern County Museum

Wish #2! Our 2nd recipient of Strata’s “70 Wishes,” is Ms. Lori Wear. Lori is the Curator at the Kern County Museum. She was nominated by two individuals who said she’d at times use her own money to fund restoration projects because she was “that passionate about her work in preserving local history.” We were thrilled to read Lori’s nominations and wanted to do what we could to help support her efforts in keeping Bakersfield’s history alive.

Congratulations to Lori and the Kern County Museum! We would also like to invite our community to help support the efforts of the Kern County Museum at: https://kerncountymuseum.org/donate

Kern County Museum

While visiting Lori, we met two wonderful volunteers, Ms. Judy Evans and Ms. Micki Burcher who have also contributed both money and many hours to help Lori with her work preserving some of Bakersfield’s most rare photos among many other items.

Wish #1: Bakersfield High School Marching Band

Our first recipient of “70 Wishes,” is the Bakersfield High School Drillers Marching Band led by Randy Bennett. The band’s wish was for an Insta360 ONE X Action Camera that they needed to film their concerts with. They share all of their concerts on YouTube as part of their fundraising efforts. This camera is projected to help raise an additional $2,000 per year for their music program.

BHS Band awarded a new camera to help raise money for their band program

Strata CU Executives presenting BHS Band with their wish of a new camera to be used for fundraising for their program.

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