Locals generous with time, money

first_imgSANTA CLARITA – ‘Tis the season of giving, or is it? A national survey says that while 98 percent of Americans want to give to a “greater good,” just 48 percent have done so in the past six months. The survey also said people blame lack of guidance from local government and the news media as reasons they don’t volunteer. City officials say Santa Clarita must be the exception to this study. This time of year, the community really comes out to help with raising money and collecting food and toys for families who need help. “I find this city to be extremely generous with food and goods,” said the Rev. George McLeary, pastor of said Church of Hope. He said the city’s winter shelter for the homeless, set to open next week, is drawing many offers from potential volunteers. Last year, volunteers provided all the shelter’s meals. Belinda Crawford, executive director of the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry, said 400 turkeys were collected in a Thanksgiving food drive. The problem is, Crawford said, there is always more work to be done. “We are feeding about 3,000 Santa Clarita residents this holiday,” Crawford said. “That is great, but it is only about 14 percent of those living in the valley who are living at or below 150 percent (of the) poverty level.” Betty Romero, a young volunteer at the Valley Worship Center in Newhall, said some people just need a nudge. “Many business owners in this area will help, but they just don’t know we are here,” Romero said. Newhall business owner Roger Hasper planned a Thanksgiving feast in his Newhall bike shop for local low-income families. He was pleased with the offers from volunteers, but disappointed with their limits. “I told a couple of people that I was good on volunteers and they could go to the downtown missions or Ventura, but they didn’t want to go out of their way,” Hasper said. “People want to help, but don’t want to go out of their way to help and that to me isn’t really stepping up. It’s like riding a bike. It’s always easy to come up with excuses but if you want to ride, you just get on the bike and ride.” connie.llanos@dailynews.com (661) 257-5254160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’“Santa Clarita is definitely not represented in that study,” said city spokeswoman Gail Ortiz. “Here at City Hall, giving and nonprofit charity work is the foundation of our culture.” Ortiz is one of a number of city employees who actively volunteers time to local nonprofit groups. She volunteers her services as a publicist to various groups and is on the boards of the Child and Family Center and the Domestic Violence Center. “In the city of Santa Clarita, there is a huge – no, an enormous amount – of work that people from all walks of life give and donate,” Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean said. “We are so lucky to have such a giving community.” McLean, a 30-year resident, still has time to work on raffles and bake sales for her favorite charities. last_img

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