Summertime Outside Volunteering – Two VC Staff Pick Highlights

Highlighting the Homeless Garden Project: Where Everyone is Included — Written by Jeanée Ryan, Monterey Bay RSVP Program Specialist at the Volunteer Center It wasn’t a chilly Thursday morning, but the falling fog was consistent out on the farm and I felt relaxed and calm. I was happy to be outdoors. Volunteers, interns, and trainees … Read more

Connect to Action Resources on Gun Violence

At the Volunteer Center, we believe the world changes for good when people come together and use data, resources and tools to take informed actions that solve problems.  We believe that it is time we all join together across every cause to solve the problem of American Gun Violence.  This is not a global problem … Read more

Mental Health Awareness Month Spotlight – employment & job support are critical to mental health recovery

By Kelsey Smith, Career Services Employment Specialist Returning to work can be daunting for anyone who has taken time off, particularly those overwhelmed by anxiety, depression, or other mental health challenges. Community Connection provides holistic support for people with mental health diagnoses including day classes, family support, substance use recovery services, healthy lifestyle support, and … Read more

Take Action for Earth Day

Earth Day 2022 is this Friday, April 22nd! Join the world’s largest environmental movement by taking action on Friday or any other day because every day is Earth Day! We have put together a guide of all the best environmentally focused volunteer opportunities and you can choose to volunteer at a one-day event or sign … Read more

Local teens help us keep the beach clean – Join us every month!

With Spring’s arrival and the weather getting warmer, now is the perfect time to join one of YouthSERVE’s monthly beach clean-ups at Main Beach in Santa Cruz. In January, we hosted a beach clean-up that just so happened to take place the day after the tsunami warning in Santa Cruz. The waves had washed up … Read more

Take Action on MLK Holiday!

“And one of the great liabilities of life is that all too many people find themselves living amid a great period of social change, and yet they fail to develop the new attitudes, the new mental responses, that the new situation demands. They end up sleeping through a revolution.” — Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King … Read more

Adopt A Family – It’s More than Just a Gift

I’ve been volunteering with the Adopt A Family program since I was in high school and we went down to the donation warehouse to “shop” from donated gifts and put together packages. That was 22 years ago (yikes!) but the program is still delivering holiday cheer to people experiencing hardship in our community. This is … Read more

Listening to a Generation in Crisis

The last two years have impacted our community in immeasurable ways. The mental, emotional and physiological distress we’ve collectively endured is only starting to surface. For some of us, we brushed the dust off our shoulders as we jumped back into our daily routines…but for others, the crippling weight of anxiety, depression, trauma and fear … Read more

A Special Safety Message to our Volunteers

Dear Amazing Volunteers, Time and time again this year, our community needed help and you answered the call. Sometimes to stay at home and wait patiently, making masks, phoning seniors and raising funds online to keep our community whole through those early days of COVID. During the fires you showed up in record numbers to … Read more

Connect for Good Outside

It’s a clear-skied, beautiful summer in Santa Cruz County so far, and with so much uncertainty regarding the Delta variant and what activities are safe, there has never been a better time to volunteer outside.  Volunteering outside is the safest way to put your values into action, make a lasting impact and connect with your … Read more

Creating Connections Through Grocery Shopping Over the past two months as businesses, schools, and nonprofits have shuttered their doors and suspended programs, we’ve all been forced to adapt.  At the Volunteer Center, we’ve used this time to assess our resources and our strengths and we have made huge shifts to meet today’s immediate critical needs. Through this process, we’ve … Read more

Keep the Lights On for our Environment

Today, on this Earth Day, we are grateful for the community leaders and local organizations that cultivate the nature lover, budding scientist, and environmental advocate in each of us. Our community is happier and healthier because of the effort you put forward every day. We are honored to highlight five organizations fundraising through the Human … Read more

National Volunteer Week during the Coronavirus Crisis

Acting with compassion for others and in ways that make our community stronger is what volunteers do. We see this during the COVID Crisis in people who are making and donating masks, shopping for seniors, delivering food and staffing shelters to help our neighbors Shelter in Place and all of us flatten the curve. In … Read more

Wishing You a Happy Holiday- See you in 2020

The Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County’s offices in Santa Cruz, Live Oak, and Santa Cruz are closed Friday, December 20th until Thursday, January 2nd, 2020. As we take time with our friends and families during the holidays, we rest knowing that because of your support of our family of 18 programs, this year we … Read more