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Students raise $900-plus for Kern homeless

The Bakersfield Californian

Kids collecting coins. Kids giving away coins to help the less fortunate.

These are images that warm the heart of Cal State Bakersfield professor Russell Travis, founder of Homeless Quarters, a local nonprofit organization that collects donations to help the homeless and near-homeless in Kern County.

On Wednesday afternoon, about a half-dozen students from the Greenfield School District joined Travis at Kern Schools Federal Credit Union on Panama Lane where they deposited more than 100 pounds of coins collected at Greenfield schools.

The dimes, nickels, quarters and dollars added up to $923.66 - and it marked the first donation from Travis' Quarters for Kids initiative, an offshoot from the parent organization that encourages young people in Kern County to help fight homelessness.

Mayor Harvey Hall made a matching donation at the event, Travis said, and so did the credit union, bringing the total to more than $2,700.

Travis said many households in the Greenfield area in south Bakersfield are lacking in extra cash, so he was especially proud of the students' fund-raising effort.

Ideally, Greenfield's generosity will be contagious, he said: "I think this might just start a holiday chain reaction." To participate, schools and individuals should call Travis at 654-3159.

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