Our Story

Inspired By Our Beliefs

volunteer-center-doorsAsk any staff member at the Volunteer Center and they will tell you, "I love my job!"

That is because, everyday our staff  have the opportunity to work with incredible individuals who are changing local lives for the better. In the last year over 20,000 residents stepped up to partner with the Volunteer Center.

We strongly believe there is no issue in our community that volunteers can't tackle and we are passionate about breaking  down  barriers that get in the way of finding the right volunteer fit.

We know that every person has something meaningful to bring to the community table. Our job is to provide every individual and group with easy access to the right tools to take action.

The Home for Volunteerism

We are a "one-stop shop" for all things volunteer related for individuals, organizations, and businesses.  It should be easy to find out when and where your skills are needed. We are committed to doing the legwork so you don't have to.

Each year we collaborate with over 500 community partners to support  their effort to recruit and welcome new volunteers and we partner with local businesses that want to invest their resources in building a more connected community.

We connect people with volunteer opportunities on the web, by phone or in person via our match-making appointments.  We additionally invite every person to be a part of our work through our family of 19 programs.

Rooted in Action

The Volunteer Center has been working alongside our community for over 50 years.  We got our start in 1967, when  Marian McBee, Kathryn Merriam, and Marget Schaeffer, three remarkable women inspired by their passion for social work, set up shop at a loaned office space in downtown Santa Cruz to develop volunteer programs that would change the lives of residents in need. Their goal was to give a community voice to the most disenfranchised in Santa Cruz County.

They set the stage for a long history of volunteers working in partnership with local residents who desire a hand of support, a deeper connection with their community, and the opportunity to invest in outcomes that lead to greater prosperity for themselves and others.

Through their inspired beginnings, years of sweat equity by community members, and a growing collective of dedicated staff and leadership, the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County has evolved into what we now have today- 4 facilities, 19 programs, and over 15,000 volunteers who partner with nearly 9,000 community residents in need.

Together,  we are giving our time, talent and resource to make Santa Cruz County a happier, healthier place to live.


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