Be The Difference Awards

Thanks for Attending the 2019 Awards | See you in 2020!

Recognizing the Top 50 People, Groups and Businesses who do the most to transform Santa Cruz County through volunteerism.

We asked and YOU answered! Each year we reach out, asking you to share your extraordinary stories of volunteers, businesses, and non-profits who make our community a happier, healthier place to live through volunteerism.

We were honored to celebrate your nominees in partnership with our presenting sponsor Santa Cruz Community Credit Union at our Gala Lunch on Oct. 10, 2019.

Meet our 2019 Award Winners - Videos developed by KION News Channel 5/46

Meet Jose Humberto Camacho- Individual Winner

Jose is the driving force behind the all-volunteer run organization, Activities 4 All (A4A). In addition to working full time as a kindergarten teacher, fathering children and actively contributing to his church, Jose uses his musical talents for good by offering low or no cost music, dance and soccer activities year-round to the youth in Pajaro Valley. Jose’s work through A4A ensures that approximately 200 youth and their families learn and appreciate sports, music, and dance together. His endless energy and his astute ability to respond to the needs of his community makes him one of the most influential movement builders in South County.

Meet Wayne Shaffer- Individual Winner

Wayne is a hands-on powerhouse of community support, supporting the St. Francis Soup Kitchen for 35 years and the Siena House Maternity Home for 19 years. He played a founding role in both organizations and today serves as a board member and regular volunteer for both organizations. Wayne is at St. Francis Soup Kitchen nearly every day, offering guests a nourishing meal. At Siena House, Wayne helps ensure that pregnant women have a safe space to live during pregnancy and after birth. Wayne also routinely brings the sick communion at Dominican Hospital and Sunshine Villa Rest Home and is very active in his church, Holy Cross.

Meet Camp Krem - Group Winner

Camping Unlimited for the Developmentally Disabled established Camp Krem in 1957 to provide fun, adventure, and independence for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They have served 46,000 children and adults in the last 62 years. Camp Krem offers “Main Camp” where campers stay in cabins and enjoy swimming, song, dance theater and crafting, and “Outdoor Adventure Camp” where their small fleet of vans take participants backpacking to sleep in tipis or under the stars, cook by campfire and hike across the state. Camp Krem relies on an army of volunteers acting as counselors, nurses, maintenance people, marketers, recruiters, trainers and more.

Meet Kaiser Permanente- Business Winner

Every year, Kaiser Permanente’s Sacramento-based National Facilities Department chooses a region for a construction-based community service project. In 2018, Kaiser selected our region and worked with the Volunteer Center to identify a local school to receive this huge gift. After eight weeks, ten hours of coordinated action began. 100+ neighbors, teachers, carpenters, executives, physicians, parents, school board members and students joined together to transform Del Mar Elementary’s Life Lab Garden, investing an estimated $20,000 into the school in one day. Kaiser exemplifies their stated value that “we are all in this together. And together, we thrive.”

 

Meet K&D Landscaping - Business Winner

Hungry to deepen their commitment to their community, K&D landscaping began their Community Beautification Projects in 2016. Their projects have benefitted historical houses, shelters for women and children, elementary school gardens and even county parks. All projects were identified through a community nomination process. Beyond these projects, K&D encourages their team members to give back and volunteer in their community and they provide compensation to their employees when they work on these projects because they understand the financial hardships that donating time can create.

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