In 1981, the A. Miriam Jamison Children’s Center was established in response to the growing number of reported child abuse cases in Kern County.
The Jamison Children’s Center is a 24-hour Temporary Shelter Care Facility, operated by the Human Services Department of Kern County. As the only emergency shelter in Kern County for abused, neglected and exploited children, Jamison Children’s Center temporarily houses children who are taken into protective custody by law enforcement agencies or social workers. Children come to Jamison Children’s Center from all backgrounds and walks of life.
In response to the needs of these children, Turner Park was built as a Westchester Kiwanis Club project. Turner Park is a four-acre park and includes a playground area and volleyball court, a covered area for picnics/parties, and lots of grass for kids to run and play. Westchester Kiwanis Charter member, Jim “Pop” Turner was instrumental in the actual building of the park along with ensuring that Westchester Kiwanis would provide equipment and ongoing maintenance of the park.
Since 1986, every two weeks, the Club has been mowing, edging, weed-whacking, and cutting the grass; keeping the area looking good for those deserving kids.
In 2001, the park was named in Jim Turner’s honor by the County Board of Supervisors, just two years before his passing.
For over 40 years the Westchester Kiwanis Club of Bakersfield
has provided a Christmas Shopping Spree including breakfast
for approximately 60 underprivileged children in our
community. Many times these are the only Christmas gifts and
celebration the children will receive. The Club provides $150 for
each child to purchase gifts for their family and themselves.
The Bakersfield Ronald McDonald House is a place where the families of Kern County pediatric or NICU patients can go to take a break from the hospital environment. It serves as a "home away from home" that gives the non-hospitalized part of the family a sense of normalcy in a time when their world is upside down. Keeping families close to each other and the care they need is a goal of the Bakersfield Ronald McDonald House.
Overnight amenities are available to families who live at least 25 miles from the House. Families who live in the Bakersfield area but don't have the opportunity to go all the way home can take advantage of the House's day-use guest opportunities to take a nap, shower, or even get a load of laundry done.
Westchester Kiwanis Club supports Ronald McDonald House by providing volunteers to assist with needed duties, donating money to help the needs of families, and purchasing goods and supplies to help maintain the facility which enables families to stay free and take advantage of the many amenities.