“Remember to serve, serve to remember.”
With the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaching, that’s the motto of “HandsOn Santa Clarita” as the non-profit volunteer group looks for volunteers for this coming weekend’s fourth annual Day of Service and Remembrance – actually a two-day event spanning Saturday and Sunday.
The Day of Service starts Saturday at 8:30 a.m. at various locations around the Santa Clarita Valley, including the New Leash on Life animal-rescue center, the Placerita Canyon Nature Center, the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clarita and the Castaic Animal Shelter.
Volunteers will be doing all manner of cleanup, painting and general sprucing at those locations. In addition, at the American Legion Post in Newhall, volunteers will be packing boxes of donated items to be shipped to military personnel serving overseas.
Volunteers are particularly needed at the New Leash and Castaic animal shelters, said Seema Shah, executive director of HandsOn Santa Clarita.
While the New Leash facility itself was spared by the recent Sand fire, the area surrounding it was torched and is badly in need of cleanup.
Day 2 of the event, Sunday from 12:30p.m.-3:30 p.m. in front of the food court at the Westfield Mall in Santa Clarita, will be a day of ceremonies — to remember the fallen as well as thank first responders and military members.
There will also be kid-friendly activities, including “hands-on” time with military and emergency vehicles.
“This is my fourth year doing this,’’ said Shah, who was just 19 when terrorists hijacked four planes on Sept. 11, 2001. “It gives people the opportunity to remember Sept. 11, but really a reason to remember by saying, ‘We’ll do something tangible in the community.’ ‘’
Sunday’s activities, she added, are also a good way of teaching young kids – many of whom were not yet born – about the tragic events of 9/11, the sacrifices made and the lives lost.
Shah stressed that volunteers are still needed. If you’re interested, go to handsonscv.org for details on how to sign up.