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Teresa Todd: Rising to the occasion

SCV Voices

Posted: January 20, 2010 9:36 p.m.
Updated: January 21, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Sixteen years ago in the predawn hours of a January morning, the Northridge earthquake rocked Southern California's world.

Damaged homes, fallen freeways and frayed nerves created a new order as Santa Clarita became an island cut off from the cities to the south. We were on our own for days on end until outside help could arrive.

May I say that I have never been as proud to live in Santa Clarita as I was during our earthquake emergency? City staff and officials set up makeshift offices in City Hall's parking lot. Building inspectors, public works crews and sheriff's deputies, among others, coordinated efforts with determined focus on helping all in need.

I feel very fortunate to live in a place that I know will stand beside its residents and provide assistance in good times and in bad.

As traumatic as life was on that January day in 1994, it pales in comparison to what has happened in Haiti. It is a tragedy of enormous magnitude that is compounded only by an inability to provide swift and immediate relief.

Collectively, our hearts pour out to the people of Haiti. Individually, many have pledged money via cellphone text-messaging.

Countless Santa Clarita businesses and organizations have stepped up to organize relief efforts. 

* The Help the Children organization in Santa Clarita reports it sent an air shipment of food, water and over-the-counter medicine to Haiti. The nonprofit organization has been offered five truckloads of water for Haiti, but is in need of funds to ship the cargo.

Organizers continue to collect food and medicine for the island nation. If you can help visit or stop by their office at 26450 Ruether Ave. in Canyon Country.

* Vino 100 is collecting monetary donations through Saturday for CARE, one of the world's largest humanitarian aid agencies. A donation vessel has been set up in the store for quick and easy drop-off.

According to a news release on the organization's Web site, CARE has launched an international appeal for funds for Haiti that will support immediate emergency operations.

CARE has offices and warehouses established in Haiti, which play a key role in the rescue and recovery efforts. CARE is coordinating with other United Nations agencies and aid organizations to assess damage and on-the-ground needs.

Donations can be made by cash or checks made payable to CARE. All funds collected go directly to supporting CARE's life-saving emergency relief efforts in Haiti. For more information about the organization visit

As a "thank you," Vino 100 owners Lil Lepore and Shari Frazier would like to offer folks a glass of wine to enjoy on them when they stop by to donate. Vino 100 is located at 28112 Newhall Ranch Road in the HighRidge Crossing Center at Copper Hill Drive.

For more information call (661) 294-6886 or visit

This is just a small sampling of some of the efforts underway. An absolute truth is that people in our small corner of the world known as Santa Clarita always rise to the occasion, lending a hand to those in need.

Teresa Todd is a Santa Clarita resident and owner of Point of View Communications. Her column reflects her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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