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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 alongside a dedicated volunteer, admire the way a particular non-profit engages volunteers, or observed a business going the extra mile for civic engagement? Celebrate their efforts by submitting a nomination.


DEADLINE EXTENDED- Nominations will be accepted now through Friday, August 25th. 


This is a particularly meaningful year for this annual event. Our community, like our world, is being stretched and challenged in so many ways.  We feel it at work, in our institutions, and our homes as we continue to watch the needs grow. Fortunately, despite this fundamental discord many folks have continued to lean in and answer the call. The powerful impact of what happens when people, groups, and businesses put community first and connect together for good, has become crystal clear. 


At the Volunteer Center, we see that our volunteers wake up every day hungry to improve our community through compassionate action. Volunteering continues to provide the opportunity to widen the circle for learning, conversation, and real connections. More than ever, we are aware that our communities thrive because community members are willing to share their time, talent, and dedication to make Santa Cruz County a better place to live.


We all ache at this moment to thank, celebrate, and be inspired by our local heroes who are making our world better every day and we look forward to creating this annual space for our community to do so.


This year, the Be the Difference Awards Celebration will go entirely online so that community members can participate safely from home. In partnership with our presenting sponsor Santa Cruz Community Credit Union, KION-CBS, and our fellow sponsors will present a virtual lunchtime watch-party on Wednesday, October 21. We’ll keep you posted with more details as we get closer to the event date.


The top 50 nominees will receive special recognition during the watch party and in the weeks surrounding the event. Selected nominees in each category will receive special recognition through film and publicity in partnership with KION-CBS.




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