Local News

Thursday, Dec 13 2012 04:43 PM

Worth noting in the community: Holiday party for military kids, more

By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

Military kids and their families can celebrate the holidays together at Kern County's Operation: Military Kids' holiday party.

At 6 p.m. Saturday, families can participate in activities and games, including cookie decorating, ornament making, reading a military-themed book and visiting with Santa. The party is meant for kids with a parent anywhere in the deployment cycle from receiving deployment orders to reintegration, according to a news release from Operation: Military Kids.

The party is at the University of California 4-H office at 1031 S. Mount Vernon Ave.

Drivers who have owned their cars for at least six months can get a free vehicle emissions test Saturday.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and Valley Clean Air Now are hosting the testings at the Kern County Fairgrounds, according to a news release. The event will be in the South P Street parking lot at 1142 S. P St.

For cars that don't pass the test but can be repaired, drivers will receive a voucher for $500 in repairs at a participating certified smog check station.

A maximum of 525 cars will be tested, and it's first-come, first-served. There will also be free food and drinks while supplies last.

As part of its "12 Days of Giving" campaign , Walmart has given $10,000 to a California City nonprofit, according to a Walmart news release.

Bags4Kids was one of 14 organizations that help children chosen to win a grant on the fifth day of Walmart's holiday program. Bags4Kids provides bags filled with school supplies and personal items to children going through police stations, children's services offices, foster care agencies and shelters.

Goodwill is opening a donation center and store on Rosedale Highway, the nonprofit announced Wednesday.

Donations are already being accepted at the store at 13121 Rosedale Highway in the Rosedale Gateway Plaza. The donation center is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week.

In addition to grabbing your morning coffee, you can drop off a toy at Starbucks until Dec. 21 that will be donated to foster children, according to a news release from Aspiranet, the nonprofit that will receive the donations.

Starbucks' annual "Light Up a Child's Life" gift drive started Thursday to benefit children served by Aspiranet, one of the largest nonprofit social service agencies in California.

Twenty-four locations in Kern County have foster children's gift wishes on display. Customers can pick one to fulfill and return the unwrapped gifts to Starbucks.

For a list of participating stores, visit http://aspiranetheroes.org/giftdrive.

Kern Community Foundation has awarded more than $70,000 in grants to nonprofits that provide health services to low-income and underserved residents of rural Kern County, according to a news release from the foundation.

The following have won the grants:

* Cal State Bakersfield Foundation's Creating Healthy Smiles for Kern Kids: $3,955

* The Salvation Army Golden State Division Eastern Kern Service Extension's Basic Needs Programming: $12,470

* Boys and Girls Clubs of Kern County's Triple Play-Healthy Habits Program: $10,000

* Friends of Mercy Foundation's Empowerment Seminars: $15,000

* American Lung Association of California's Lamont Asthma Care Project: $15,000

* Community Action Partnership of Kern's Agency Relations/Food Bank position: $7,000

* Independent Living Center of Kern County's Transitions Program: $7,000

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