A Heart for Service with Pat Willett
Following in the footsteps of her mother who spent her whole life giving herself to others, super volunteer Pat Willett enjoys helping local organizations in Santa Clarita. She grew up in the San Fernando Valley, traveled across the U.S. while her husband was in the Air Force, moved to Encino, and then left the crowded city to their more rural home in Placerita Canyon. After the birth of her two sons Chuck and Rick, the Willett’s began taking in international exchange students from all around the globe to be part of their family. “My son jokes he doesn’t even know how many brothers and sisters he has,” Pat said.
She worked as a freelance public relations consultant for Newhall Land and later retired from the Hart District as its first community liaison officer. In 1996, she joined the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley to help improve the lives of women and served as President years after. “Zonta is really near and dear to my heart,” she said, “It’s nice to have that support system.” Pat also volunteers twice a week for the SCV Senior Center’s home delivered meals program that take food to the elderly. She says, “You really get attached to the seniors” and often times finds herself helping them around the house changing light bulbs or opening jars. With the SCV Education Foundation, she teaches kindergarten through second grade students how to improve their reading. Known as the “Bath Lady” she collects towels and other toiletries for the Bridge to Home Homeless shelter where she also volunteers one evening a week. “I’m a greeter and hand out towels and toiletries, that’s how I got to be known as the ‘Bath Lady’”. The last four to five years Pat has volunteered for the Santa Clarita Marathon as a course monitor. As a hostess greeter, she is also involved with the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival. Not to mention, Pat does the publicity on social media and works on the planning committees for several of these organizations. “I really enjoy doing all of it,” she said.
Besides volunteer work, Pat and her husband Charles enjoy immersing themselves in the culture of their international family members from every corner of the world—Russia, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, and Cambodia just to name a few. This summer they plan to spend time in Europe touring France and Spain. Pat can speak enough of about ten languages, knowing “just enough to get her in trouble,” she laughed.
The Willett’s have lived in Santa Clarita since 1967 and don’t plan on leaving any time soon. As a retired general contractor, Charles built their current house on over an acre of land, which holds their many rescued animals including dogs, cats, and even a couple of donkeys. When asked what the next five years looks like, Pat replied, “traveling more and continuing to help out the community any way I can.”
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