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 every crisis or disaster, there is always a surge in offers to volunteer and a renewed appreciation for how important volunteers are to the quality of life in a community.

As we celebrate National Volunteer Week during this incredibly unique and challenging time, we at the Volunteer Center hope everyone will mark this occasion with gratitude and some reflection.

Gratitude not only for the amazing acts of kindness and sharing during this period of social distancing, but also for the thousands of volunteers who were working quietly and skillfully in our parks, pantries, youth programs, museums and libraries before our world shut down, and who will be there to open our community back up for us.

Reflection on what really matters in our busy lives. When our daily routines are up-ended, we suddenly see new possibilities about how we might spend our time in a way that cultivates greater connection, purpose and joy. We know that people who volunteer are not only more productive members of a community, they are also healthier, happier and live longer than people who choose not to volunteer. Volunteering is an invitation to take those values and passions that mean the most to you and spend time bringing them to life right here, right now.

To all volunteers this week, and those at home who can’t wait to get back to the causes they care about, thank you for your service. And remember, our one purpose at the Volunteer Center is to make it easy for every person to connect with the cause that most reflects who you really are. Get connected at



Blog Post written by Karen Delaney, our Executive Director. Karen has lead our Volunteer Center for more than 30 years and is an internationally recognized leader, trainer and speaker in the field of volunteerism, community building and nonprofit management. Here in Santa Cruz, she cofounded Save Our Shores and the Human Care Alliance, was the first Board President of LifeLab Science Programs and has served on dozens of Boards and Commissions over the years.