Local blanket drive for Veterans in Oildale

Misti Cole posing with her pet pigs at the Oildale Toy Run and Vets and Pets Winter Coat and Blanket Drive on Nov. 21.

Selena Paiz, Reporter

It is that time of year again where everyone comes together and gives the gift of giving.
On Nov. 21 people around Bakersfield came together at Ethel’s Old Corral off Alfred Hwy to donate things such as blankets, winter jackets, pet supplies, toys, and nonperishable foods for the 16th annual Oildale toy run and the first annual Vets and Pets Winter coat and Blanket Drive.
Both events were hosted by Natalie Mears, the owner of Ethel’s Old Corral, and California Pinup and Patriots.
A good turnout of participants had come out to donate. There was also live music to listen to and dance to. Participants could also enter raffles that had prizes such as gift cards, foods, toys, tools, and so much more just by buying tickets. Participants could also walk around and go to different vendors and buy things like jewelry, t-shirts, and more.
“This year had been slow. We have had a bigger turnout in the past, but I decided to do this earlier to make it easier on myself. We get the donations, and we separate it all for Christmas time so we can give to families in need in the Standard School District in Oildale.” The owner of Ethels Old Corral Natalie Mears said.
California Pinups and Patriots also had a spot where you can bring warm clothes for the winter and pet supplies for veterans in need.
“We want to help veterans at this time of year. We want them to feel safe and calm especially with their animals. Their pets can be their emotional support and we know this. This is why we included donations for animals too.” Misti Cole, a member of Pinups and Patriots, said. “We are also happy with the number of people that came out. We plan to make this an annual thing every year. You can check our Facebook page to get any information on any upcoming events.” Cole also mentioned.
California Pinups and Patriots is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to honoring and serving our military, veterans, and first responders through fundraising and volunteer hours.
Many participants came out on motorcycles, including Vincent Hernandez. “This is the first time my buddies and I came out to this to support the veterans. We like to go biking together on the weekends. We have been all over California.”
Social distancing guidelines were optional but encouraged. “People have been in their homes so by the times this event was coming up people were just ready to get out of the house,” Misti Cole said when asked if there was any worry because of COVID-19.