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A HandsOn recognition celebration

Kudos and a kickoff celebrate Make a Difference Day in Santa Clarita

Posted: July 12, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 12, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Ingrid Hardy, community services superintendent for the city of Santa Clarita, left, accepts a plaque from Carol Maglione, a HandsOn Santa Clarita founder and former board member.

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HandsOn Santa Clarita celebrated the success of last year’s Make a Difference Day and kicked off  plans for the 2012 event at a reception held at the Tournament Player’s Club in Valencia.

The gathering marked both the success of the 2011 Make a Difference Day and recognized sponsors, donors, volunteer teams and partners for their contributions and kicked off activities for this year’s event which will be held Oct. 27.

New HandsOn staff, board members and programs, including an all-new volunteer website, were introduced.

Brian Koegle, a partner in the Santa Clarita Valley law firm of Poole & Shaffery, will serve as the new HandsOn Santa Clarita board president.

Outgoing Board President Susana Coronel was recognized for her contributions to the growth of the organization.

Make a Difference
Make a Difference Day is America’s “National Day of Doing Good.”  Held in communities across the country on the fourth Saturday in October, the event rallies volunteers — individuals, families, employee teams and youth and service groups — for one-day service projects in their local hometowns.

Last year in the SCV, 1,800 volunteers tackled gardening, weed abatement, landscaping, painting, fence building, cleanups, food drives and more.  

Projects benefitted 30 SCV schools and charitable organizations including Carousel Ranch, the SCV Senior Center, Child & Family Center and the SCV homeless shelter — Bridges to Home.  

Sponsors and donors
Koegle said the success of Make a Difference Day lies in connecting volunteers with projects that benefit schools and charitable organizations, and finding sponsors and donors to assist with materials and programming costs.  

“Without the participation of each partner — school, agency, volunteer, sponsor, donor — Make a Difference Day would not take place at the caliber and magnitude that it does each year,” he said.

In the 12 years since Make a Difference Day was launched in the SCV, the event has attracted almost 14,000 volunteers and contributed more than 60,000 hours of combined service to SCV charities.

Event plaques were presented at the TPC to 2011 Make a Difference Day sponsors and donors, including Aquafine Corporation, ITT, Hyatt Regency Valencia, Home Depot Foundation, Donaldson Corporation, Nexus and Marston’s.  

City of Santa Clarita
A special presentation was made recognizing the city of Santa Clarita for its role in the formation of HandsOn (formerly known as the SCV Resource Center) and its longtime support of the organization.  

Since 1997, HandsOn Santa Clarita has promoted social responsibility through the advancement of community involvement by way of advocacy, education and volunteerism.  

As the local volunteer center of the SCV, HandsOn encourages philanthropy and builds the capacity of nonprofit organizations through administration of the Court Referral Program, national service day events, and through traditional volunteering, said Koegle.

“By partnering local nonprofits, groups and businesses with volunteers, HandsOn Santa Clarita is able to make a difference every day,” he said.

Seema Shah
Koegle introduced Seema Shah as the new Executive Director of HandsOn Santa Clarita.

Shah is a native of the SCV and a former elementary school teacher and non-profit program manager.  

“I look forward to working in greater depth with the local nonprofits, businesses, and, of course, volunteers,” Shah said. “These are challenging times in the nonprofit sector, but I am honored to be part of a community that embraces social responsibility and that is passionate in overcoming those challenges through volunteerism.”

Shah advised the event attendees of the changes taking place at HandsOn Santa Clarita, including the implementation of a new website and volunteer database.  

The new site,, will allow individuals, groups, and businesses to seek out volunteer opportunities, and schools and nonprofit organizations to completely manage their volunteer needs and projects, she said.


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