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Support for Guardian Scholars comes from the philanthropy of our amazing and generous donors, including The California Wellness Foundation, CSUB Foundation, Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center, the Junior League of Bakersfield, IKEA, and many CSUB Faculty and Staff.
How can you help? Here are some suggestions!
What are the daily needs of Guardian Scholars, and how can I help?
The needs of GSP students are the same as any other college student. If you think of all the items that a student would need when he or she goes away to school--especially the items a parent would purchase as move-in items or a "care package" from home--that is where our students could use extra help.
What kind of food items do you need in your food pantry?
Our students sometimes need meals in between classes, and sometimes they need full meals. They don't, however, have access to a full kitchen. We seek donations of non-perishable foods that can be eaten on the go rather than raw ingredients or side dishes.
Suggestions include individually-packaged
granola bars, nuts, chips, rice krispies treats, protein bars
juice boxes, fruit snacks, canned fruit, hot chocolate, tea
cereal boxes, breakfast bars, pop tarts, soup, noodles, microwaveable foods
We prefer not to receive donations of perishable fruit, cans of side dishes like cranberry sauce, foods that require baking or a stovetop, and expired food items. Our students are amazing, resilient survivors, but shouldn't have to eat like survivalists.
If you buy for the program, please buy like you're providing a meal for your own children, and you can't go wrong! If you buy your kids organic, non-GMO, high-fructose free foods--our students love those also!
What kind of toiletries do Guardian Scholars need?
Anything is useful, as long as it is in sealed containers. Any item you would reject buying at the store will probably be, unfortunately, rejected by our students. Our students always need:
shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, body wash, hand lotion, toothpaste
women's and men's deodorant and hygiene products, toilet paper, hair products
school supplies, gift cards for stores like Target (toiletries and hygiene items) and Kohls (dress clothes and bedding)
Again, if you are shop as if you are purchasing for your own family, you probably can't go wrong.
Toiletries are great for us to keep in stock because they generally don't expire, and they meet the needs of our students who many times don't have transportation.
I have large items, like furniture--will you accept those?
It depends--we appreciate everyone's desire to give, but unlike great charities and non-profits like Goodwill and The Salvation Army, we don't have large trucks to pick up and deliver your donations.
Similarly, our students who live off-campus and who could really use a couch, or chair, or dining room table also don't have access to trucks or trailers to receive your donation.
In short, we can find a way to coordinate drop-offs of items, but we must at all times protect the safety and privacy of our students.
Please contact our office at 661-654-3215 to discuss the donation of large items, and we will do everything we can to facilitate your gift.
Why are you so picky?
The Guardian Scholars staff is here to support our students financially, educationally, and emotionally. Our students have survived trauma, sometimes for a decade or more, during the developmental years of their lives.
We believe they are entitled to the same human dignity as anyone else, if not more. It can be re-traumatizing or traumatizing in itself to even have to ask for help.
We maintain our "no questions asked" pantry and supplies because life for our students is difficult enough without having to summon the daily courage to "beg" for food.
Children rarely have to beg their parents for a healthy meal and decent toiletries, and our GSP students should feel the same way.