Debris Flow Evacuations and How You Can Help

With the impending high winds and expected storms to come in the next few days, Santa Cruz County community members living in areas identified at risk are currently being asked to evacuate due to the threat of debris flow and mudslides. We are working with the County of Santa Cruz to help staff the evacuation … Read more

MLK Day 2021- Actions to Choose Hope Over Cynicism

The constant churn of disconcerting news can leave one disheartened. As we watched the images of violence at our capital unfold across screens over the past week, it is easy to feel we have lost control or are falling out of step with the goal to transform our communities towards greater kindness, generosity and rightful … Read more

Adopt a Family 2020- A Huge Success!

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We are closing out our week with immense gratitude. As of today all gifts have been delivered to our partnering agencies for delivery to families, we’ve swept and cleared out the Adopt a Family Warehouse and we are putting the closing touches on this program for another year. Thanks to the outpouring of generosity unmatched … Read more

Give the Life Changing Gift of Literacy

53 years ago this fall we opened the doors to our Literacy Program and in that time our tutors and learners have worked together through earthquakes, floods, fires, refugee resettlements, recessions, immigration crack-downs and amnesty to build better lives for their families. We are infinitely grateful to the people who have supported this project with … Read more

Adopt a Family Warehouse Opens Friday Dec. 4th

We are so grateful for all those folks who adopted or donated to support our 500+ families in the Adopt a Family Project. Your help means over 2000 parents, children, seniors, and independent teens will have a brighter holiday. If you didn’t get a chance to support the project and still want to lend a hand we … Read more

Not Gathering But Still Giving with Community Connection

Mav-Rik delivering Thanksgiving

For more than 13 years our Mental Health Program Community Connection has partnered with fellow agencies to host the South County Mental Health Thanksgiving. This annual event has traditionally brought over 300 mental health participants and their families together to connect, celebrate, and enjoy a meal the day before Thanksgiving. As with so many events … Read more

Build New Traditions Through Family Volunteer Day- Nov 21

This Saturday, November 21st is Family Volunteer Day an annual tradition for my household. Finding a way to take part in festivities this year feels like the perfect way to hold gratitude for all that my family has despite the challenges of 2020. Volunteering has always been a favorite activity for our family. My children … Read more

Joyful Giving- Adopt a Family This Holiday

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We’ve made it to November in the age of pandemic life. Around us we see the signs of the holiday season taking hold with the endless supply of holiday baubles arriving on store shelves and despite the challenges of this year many are ready to turn their thoughts to the joy of the holiday season.  … Read more

Volunteers Are Needed To Distribute Food

Volunteer at Food Distribution in Watsonville

As the holiday season approaches, many people feel a strong inclination to pitch in and express their generosity towards their community.  One great way to get involved is to volunteer time distributing food with a local food bank.   The pandemic has brought widespread financial hardship and food insecurity has grown to previously-unseen levels across … Read more

Be the Difference Awards Goes Online TODAY

Along with our presenting sponsor Santa Cruz Community Credit Union and fellow sponsors we are excited to celebrate the 2020 Be the Difference Awards honoring the individuals, groups, and businesses that transform Santa Cruz County through volunteerism. Starting at 11:30 AM the Be the Difference Awards will take over the Volunteer Center homepage. While this … Read more

Generating More Senior Programs For Falls Prevention

Every day we face new and ongoing challenges as the pandemic seems to have no immediate end in sight. We recognize that this time is especially hard on older adults, who now more than ever need our support, resources, and friendship. Over the past seven months our Senior Programs Team has been an innovative force … Read more

We’ve Been Here Before…Volunteers Responding to Disaster

The Lightning Fires that consumed our beautiful mountains with a relentless ferocity unleashed a torrent of bravery, kindness, spirit, and ingenuity from every part of our beloved community.  People are donating, volunteering, feeding people, and sharing housing with neighbors, coworkers, friends, and strangers in record numbers.  While we are just one agency involved in this … Read more

Fire Safety and How You Can Help

Thank you to all who have stepped to help their neighbors. As we continue to mobilize and place volunteers our first priority is community safety.  Below you will find important information about evacuation resources and fire safety. Please heed all recommendations to evacuate as needed. The County has established evacuation centers. Call 211 for more … Read more

Be the Difference Awards- Call for Nominations Happening Now

We are pleased to announce that the Call for Nominations for the 14th Annual Be the Difference Awards is now open.  The “Be the Difference” Awards are about honoring the individuals, groups, non-profits, and businesses that transform Santa Cruz County through volunteerism.   We invited you to share your stories of inspiration. Have you worked … Read more

Pandemic Learning and Emergency Preparation

Is your family ready for an emergency? 2020 has taught us that life can be unpredictable. Unfortunately, while managing the ensuing pandemic, we could simultaneously find ourselves facing power outages, earthquakes, flooding, and fires. Should we face a natural disaster in the coming months, we want to help you get prepared. We’ve joined the California For … Read more

Creating Space and Connection for Youth During the Pandemic

With the spread of COVID-19, youth programming across the country has adapted to new ways of engaging children and teens both online and in person. During this time, YouthSERVE has remained dedicated to connecting youth, ages 11-17, with rewarding volunteer projects across Santa Cruz County. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our participants are completing at home … Read more

Organizing For Racial Equity

Systemic Racism exists in America, in California, in our beloved community, and in our agency. We see the evidence in unequal poverty rates, graduation rates, disproportionate incarceration rates, even in life span. We see it in the experiences of our own programs and when working with our clients. What is happening in our country is … Read more

Prioritizing Hope Through Community Connection

Our sense of SELF. Our sense of WELLNESS. We carry forward with each. We wear them like armor, sink into them like a deep unforeseen hole, or hold them up brazenly like a golden ray of sun. Somedays we may vacillate and float between which way to carry them. Other days we may have more … Read more

Why I’m Giving my Stimulus Check to my Community….

Dick Davis joined our staff on #GivingTuesdayNow for the video premiere of Keep the Lights on Santa Cruz County to share why he is proud to donate his stimulus check to his community. Learn more below and watch his interview with Executive Director Karen Delaney. Hello, My name is Dick Davis and I am on … Read more