By Michele E. Buttelman
After more than two years of a pandemic no one saw coming most people are feeling a renewed sense of gratitude. One way to express that gratitude is to join the legion of volunteers in the Santa Clarita Valley who work to make the lives of their friends and neighbors better.
The SCV has long been known for its sense of community and the number of philanthropic and nonprofit opportunities it offers residents.
As older residents move away or retire from active volunteer efforts a new generation is stepping up to prove why the SCV is a great place to live.
It’s the people who volunteer in the community who showcase the SCV’s true quality of life.
One place to start your volunteer career is by joining one of the numerous service clubs in the SCV.
Service clubs offer a chance to meet new people, as well as network and socialize with others with similar interests.
Home Tour League. The Holiday Home Tour raises funds for Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital’s Center for Women and Newborns. To join, or for information or questions, contact the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation (661) 200-1200.
JCI Santa Clarita. A group of young professionals between the ages of 21 and 39. Visit www.jcisantaclarita.com.
Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley. A women’s service organization supporting efforts to improve the lives of women and girls. Visit www.sigscv.org.
Soroptimist International of Valencia. A women’s service organization supporting efforts to improve the lives of women and girls. Visit www.sivalencia.org.
Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley. A women’s service club that improves the lives of women and girls in the community and worldwide through service projects, advocacy, education and awareness campaigns. Visit SCVZonta.org.
For more on SCV nonprofits and service clubs visit www.santa-clarita.com/residents/community-links.
Santa Clarita Volunteer Hub
“There are so many opportunities to volunteer in Santa Clarita. Whether you want to help out at the Santa Clarita Public Library or literally blaze new trails in our open space, residents of any age can give back to our community,” said city of Santa Clarita spokesperson Carrie Lujan. “Last year alone some 3,312 volunteers donated more than 14,000 hours of their time to a wide variety of projects and programs, added up the dollar value of those hours equals almost half a million dollars.”
Current volunteer opportunities include youth sports league coaches, Wildland Weed Warriors and Red Cross disaster shelter deployment reserve volunteers.
Volunteer registration is now open for the 27th Annual River Rally Cleanup and Environmental Expo on Saturday, Sept. 17, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
“In addition to the benefits of the services you provide, volunteers also get to connect with others, learn more about their neighbors, gain new skills, increase self-confidence and build a sense of pride in our community,” said Lujan.
To sign up for the River Rally and view other volunteer opportunities visit https://santaclaritavolunteers.com.
SCV Senior Center
“The SCV Senior Center volunteers are invaluable in enhancing the lives of seniors,” said Robin Clough, Director of Volunteers & Recreation. “The extraordinary volunteer team is comprised of nearly 160 huge-hearted committed people in our community. Each one would say they get more from it than they give, but what they give is phenomenal. They are a lifeline for seniors providing nutrition, services and offsetting isolation.”
The Meals on Wheels program needs drivers to provide a meal and a smile to seniors who are homebound.
“Those who volunteer in our Meals on Wheels program cherish the opportunity to connect and have meaningful relationships with recipients, providing so much more than a meal,” said Clough. “The impact of all our volunteers is evident by a wall full of cards of appreciation from seniors expressing gratitude for their generous and caring spirit.”
For more information email [email protected] or call (661) 259-9444.
Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley
“The hard work and commitment of volunteers is essential to the success of Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley,” said Matthew Nelson, Chief Executive Officer of the Boys & Girls Club of SCV. “Volunteers enhance programs for the kids and teens by supporting and leading programs and activities including science club, robotics, the arts, homework help and coaching sports.”
An important part of the club’s funding come from the club’s major fundraisers including the annual auction in June and Festival of Trees in November.
“Additionally, it’s our volunteers who secure sponsorship and item donations. Boys & Girls Club of SCV thrives because of the passion and dedication of volunteers,” he said.
Nelson said the club is always looking for volunteers to help with events.
“The club’s fundraisers would not be possible without volunteers,” said Nelson. “Coming up in November at our Festival of Trees event, volunteers will handle everything from designing Christmas trees and gingerbread houses to taking tickets at the door and helping with setup and clean up.”
To learn more contact Ali Campbell at [email protected].
Signups for Festival of Trees volunteers begin Oct. 1. Visit https://scvbgc.org/volunteering/
Santa Clarita Puppy Club
Want a volunteer service project that is both warm and fuzzy? The Guide Dogs for the Blind Santa Clarita, CA Puppy Club is looking for volunteer puppy raisers. Raisers and their families receive a pup when they are approximately 8 weeks old and teach the puppy good house manners and provide socialization experiences to prepare these future canine heroes for formal guide dog training.
To learn more about how you can support the Santa Clarita, CA Puppy Club as a raiser, sitter, or club volunteer, visit www.guidedogs.com/puppy to fill out an interest form.