Despite the challenges of 2020, the desire to welcome in the holiday season still tugs at our hearts. Many have chosen to hoist up their twinkling lights and decorations a bit early this year and all around it seems people are looking for a safe reprieve from the daily grind of social isolation.
From our daily communications with people here at the Volunteer Center, we recognize that people are craving connections and looking for fresh hope. From those reaching out because they are facing deep struggle to those seeking new creative outlets, the thread that binds them together is a desire to connect.
As our community grapples with safe ways to foster togetherness while maintaining physical distance, the Volunteer Center has found the perfect solution- giving back to others.
Time and again we see that when we lift up others, we lift up ourselves. Fortunately this time of year the Volunteer Center is teaming with ways for people to lend a helping hand. From giving our time to giving our funds, we all have gifts to give.
In an effort to easily connect community members with ways to give, we annually post the Holiday Volunteer Guide. Listed in the guide, are both holiday related “do from home” volunteer projects and in-person projects available throughout the county where social distance protocols are in place.
Included in the guide, is the Volunteer Center Adopt a Family Project. This project has been running for nearly 30 years and supports families struggling to make ends meet during the holidays. This year we are working with 28 partner programs and agencies on this project to meet the needs of 500 families.
Partners provide the project with a short bio about each family and a list of the items that each family member requests. Adopt a Family Project staff and volunteers then set to work connecting these families with you. Requests include basic necessities like sheets, towels, or shoes along with special gift requests for the children.
Join us on this project by adopting via the phone or our online family registry, donate, or volunteer for the project.
We’ve been so incredibly inspired by the generosity of our community this year. With such deep economic hardship from the pandemic and the devastation from the wildfires, there has been a huge increase in need and therefore, we welcomed an additional 50+ fire families into the program. We weren’t sure what to expect from our community of supporters in terms of their capacity to give this year, but you have come shining through.
With just over a week left until we planned to close down our adoption system to transition to receiving gifts in our warehouse, our data entry elves can hardly keep up with your desire to adopt and care for your neighbors. Thus far you have adopted 487 families!
Our Adopt a Family team we will be back with more families just in time for Giving Tuesday.
On Giving Tuesday, the popular global day of generosity and giving, we have the ambitious goal to adopt the last of our families, raise additional funds to supplement each family package with extra food gift cards, and to fill the empty volunteer slots in the Adopt a Family warehouse.
To help spur the success of this effort, an anonymous donor has offered to match donations up to $2000 dollars. All contributions before midnight will count towards the goal of doubling funds.
We have no doubt that our community will come through in the spirit of generosity to support the ideals of #GivingTuesday. GivingTuesday was launched in 2012 as a simple idea: to create a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past nine years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.
Ready to Support the Project?– Here’s How:
Adopt- Check the registry and if all families have been selected on the registry, give us a call on the adoption line at (831) 457-9834.
Donate- Contributions of individual items, gift certificates, or cash can be made. Donations can be made online or mailed to the Volunteer Center at 1740 17th Ave, Santa Cruz, CA. 95062. Donate Today
Volunteer– Make a commitment to volunteer today. Register to help in the social distance warehouse. Families and pods are encouraged to register together to enhance safety.