By Cameron Smyth
Santa Clarita City Mayor
If 2020 has taught us anything, it has reinforced the importance of giving back to our community and ensuring our family, friends, neighbors and fellow residents have access to the support and services they need. This includes everything from senior citizens receiving meals in the middle of a pandemic, to teens and young adults having positive outlets and opportunities for their physical and mental well-being.
With the holidays near, now is the perfect time to find organizations and causes to support. No matter what cause is nearest and dearest to your heart, there is an organization in the Santa Clarita Valley that can instantly benefit from your time, as well as physical or financial contributions.
Bridge to Home and Family Promise are just two non-profits working to provide services to our neighbors experiencing homelessness in Santa Clarita.
Donations of supplies go a long way toward ensuring that not only individuals, but families as well, can be more confident in where their next meal will come from and where they can safely get a good night’s sleep. Both of these crucial organizations are working to expand their shelter offerings with enhanced facilities, and financial donations are needed more now, than ever.
Additionally, the Santa Clarita Valley is home to dozens of veterans’ organizations that help with everything from sending care packages to soldiers during the holidays, to developing affordable housing for veterans, to providing assistance to military families in need. Reach out to your local veterans’ group to ask what items are most needed, including clothing and holiday presents.
Local first responders collect toys to donate to children during the holidays as well. The California Highway Patrol’s CHiPS for Kids toy drive is a popular way to ensure new, unopened and unwrapped toys make it into the hands of children in need.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department also hold annual toy drives as a way to give back to residents in their communities. Please check with each organization to confirm dates and times for donations.
Numerous Santa Clarita nonprofits work to strengthen the mental and physical health of our residents. Addiction counseling and other services support those in need and these organizations rely on financial contributions to continue their operations.
When you are looking for ways to get involved this holiday season, you will be sure to find an organization that can use your assistance. By making the choice to give back to our community, you are helping to not only make a direct impact on someone’s life, but also spread hope and positivity.
Your City starting point
A great starting point is the Community Links page on our City website, santa-clarita.com, under the Residents tab. I encourage each of you to find a new way to get involved with a community organization and I look forward to the bright year ahead of us in Santa Clarita!
Mayor Cameron Smyth is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected] The views expressed in his column are those of the City and do not necessarily reflect those of The Signal.