By Councilmember Marsha McLean
Santa Clarita would not be the city it is today without the charitable services made available by non-profit organizations and businesses. During this time of the year, when the colder weather threatens those who are without homes, or finances possibly limit the ability to provide the Thanksgiving meal, the assistance community advocates provide is invaluable. However, they could not do it on their own. These organizations essentially become a bridge between those who are in need and those who can help.
As we reflect on the good times we’ve had this year, let’s consider our neighbors who are less fortunate and offer them something to be thankful for. Bridge to Home is one organization that needs outside assistance. Their Emergency Winter Shelter opened to those facing homelessness on November 20, 2017 and will remain open until March 15, 2018. Bridge to Home needs help preparing and serving meals. Please visit btohome.org/volunteer to learn how to sign up.
The Assistance League can always use volunteers. From providing new school clothes to preparing and delivering home-cooked meals to homebound seniors, this group certainly does a lot of good. Please visit assistanceleaguesantaclarita.org to learn about ways you can volunteer or donate.
Another great, and very tangible way residents can serve others this holiday season, is through the Domestic Violence Center’s Adopt-a-Family program. For many client families, the holidays can be a painful reminder of unhappy change and the uncertainty of the coming year. We can lend them a little cheer by gifting them what they need and reminding them that they are not alone. To adopt a family, please contact Linda Davies at 661-259-8175 or [email protected].
There are many other invaluable organizations which help fill needs in our community like Child and Family Center, A Light of Hope and American Red Cross. Please visit santa-clarita.com/Residents/Community-Links for a more comprehensive list of charitable organizations which need volunteers.
It’s never too early to set a New Year’s resolution to give back to the community. The City of Santa Clarita offers a variety of ongoing volunteer opportunities, which are accessible for sign-up at SantaClaritaVolunteers.com. The Santa Clarita Volunteers’ Facebook page (@SantaClaritaVolunteers) provides volunteer news and opportunities.
Youth Sports is recruiting coaches, assistant coaches, scorekeepers, and more. In these roles, individuals can have an impact on kids’ lives and teach them core competencies such as team work, sportsmanship and the importance of healthy living.
The Santa Clarita Public Library offers volunteer opportunities at each of its three locations: Valencia, Canyon Country and Old Town Newhall. Interact with library staff and members of the community as a program assistant, storyteller, homework assistant and more. Similar roles are also available at the Canyon Country and Newhall community centers.
The City’s Outreach Services program also needs tutors and homework helpers for the Park Sierra Homework Help program. In this capacity, volunteers assist youth – kindergarten through 12th grade – with homework, reading and sports programs. Please visit santa-clarita.com/OS for more details.
While we are enjoying turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing this year, let’s make an effort to share our merriment with others. There are countless organizations that do a lot of good in our community and they need our help to enact that good, so let’s give thanks and give back this holiday season.
Marsha McLean is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at: [email protected].