Fulfilling America’s Promise Through Literacy

Sep 19, 2016

America is a country built on amazing promises. You’ll find one of my favorites on every dollar bill: E Pluribus Unum (From Many, One – for those who need to brush up on Latin). Like 44% of all Americans, at least one of my Grandparents came here as an immigrant. According to a recent Gallup […] Read More

Say Thanks or Say Goodbye

Aug 12, 2016

Many nonprofit leaders feel overwhelmed by the constant churn in our field. The average numbers are daunting: Annual staff turnover for nonprofits in our county is 25%. 70% of the donors we work so hard to reach will not make a second gift. 60% of new volunteers leave after a year. The drive for more […] Read More

Be the Difference Awards- Call for Nominations

Aug 10, 2016

We are excited to kick off  the Call for Nominations for the 10th Annual Be the Difference Awards on Monday August 15th.  The “Be the Difference” Awards are about honoring the individuals, groups, non-profits, and businesses who make a difference in Santa Cruz County through volunteerism. All community members are invited to share their stories […] Read More

Building a Village of Support

Aug 1, 2016

Approximately 8 months ago Village Santa Cruz reached out to the Volunteer Center and a new partnership was born.  This is a natural fit; let me tell you why. Village Santa Cruz members help each other to remain living in our homes and connected to our community as we age. Based on a national model, […] Read More

Teens dedicate their summer vacation to service

Jul 22, 2016

Teens have made a big splash during the YouthSERVE Summer Institute (YSI), with 34 participating youth serving at twelve different sites in Watsonville and Santa Cruz! Teens volunteers spent the past six weeks packing and preparing food for low income families and the homeless population at Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes and the Food Bank. […] Read More

Painting Our Way Towards a Vibrant Community

Jun 6, 2016

Soquel will look a bit more vibrant come July, when the Graffiti Removal Project completes it’s newest mural.  As the program manager of the Graffiti Removal Project, murals are one of my favorite projects to work on because of their powerful impact.  Murals not only harness creativity to discourage vandalism but they create an important […] Read More

Tell Me More… Your Thoughts Matter.

May 26, 2016

We want to be all about YOU! I am curious by nature and always have been. My family jokes that Google is my best friend, and I must admit that Googs and I are on a first name basis. One of the many things I love about the Volunteer Center is that this spirit of […] Read More

Seniors Blaze a Trail This Month and You Can Too

May 13, 2016

Older adults in our community are leading the way with their acts of  kindness and building lasting partnerships that encourage giving back. Our senior volunteers are strengthening Santa Cruz County by providing their time, energy and skills to help our community thrive.  Last year senior volunteers working through our Retired Senior Volunteer Program contributed an […] Read More

Be the Difference for Local Youth

May 9, 2016

At the Watsonville Volunteer Center, I am fortunate to witness moments when individuals come together and bring exuberant vitality and security to our community. Cesar Chavez said, “From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems and fill their own needs with dignity and strength.” […] Read More

We’re in the Human Race Homestretch

May 4, 2016

We have excellent news! Despite a host of website glitches yesterday with struggles nationwide on Give Local America Day, our community persevered in their generosity and we still met our goal to raise $20,000 in 24 hours. YOU did it… and you are still rolling! Even better news, we extended our Give Local America Prize […] Read More

Technical Difficulties with Human Race Website

May 3, 2016

Due to the high volume of generosity on the National Give Local America Day platform we are experiencing technical difficulties with online donations on the Human Race Website.  Please check back later to make your donation online or bring a cash or check donation into the Volunteer Center or to the Human Race on Saturday May […] Read More

Give Local America Helps Santa Cruz County Nonprofits

May 3, 2016

People across the U.S., hundreds of thousands of people like you and me, are giving back to their communities today, May 3, as part of Give Local America. Give Local America is a single-day crowdfunding event for nonprofits and other charitable groups that raised $68.5 million for more than 9,000 nonprofits in 50 states last […] Read More

Skipping and Dancing our Way to a Better World

Apr 29, 2016

Nonprofits have a well-deserved reputation for motivating and inspiring people with powerful appeals to our hearts. We lead with the need.  We make you cry.  Sad music swells in the background of our stories of loss and redemption. There’s no doubt, we are unrelenting in our effort to change the world. But what if you […] Read More

Discovering Strength and Defying Labels

Apr 18, 2016

At the Volunteer Center it is our goal transform our community and ourselves through volunteerism, empowering everyone to be the difference. This mission is carried forward in an endless number of ways through our family of programs. Sometimes folks are surprised to discover the variety of what we do. “You do that as well?!” they […] Read More

Does Your Organization Leverage Volunteer Skills?

Apr 13, 2016

As a busy nonprofit professional I know that there is never enough time to get everything on my “TO DO” list done. I balance my budget, write reports, answer 100’s of emails every week and keep my program website and social media up to date. Not to mention, fundraising, committees, local government meetings, and special […] Read More

Experience the Power of Hope, Change and Justice

Apr 2, 2016

Sometimes the power of what our volunteers accomplish strikes me like lightening. Waiting to go into the fifth meeting of a very long day, I decided to be productive and use 5 minutes to catch up on LinkedIn.  The smile on the person sitting proudly at a new workstation in a well-known local company, asking […] Read More

YouthServe Teens Awarded by City of Watsonville

Mar 24, 2016

We are proud to announce that three teens who are active participants of the Volunteer Center Program YouthServe will be awarded by the City of Watsonville this evening March 24th for their dedication to our community. YouthServe Members Lily Constanza, Yesenia Abundis, and Marisa Upson are among the 7 candidates selected to receive the 2016 […] Read More

Honoring Chavez with Acts of Compassion

Mar 21, 2016

“Kindness and compassion towards all living beings is a mark of a civilized society.” –Cesar Chavez Apt words by Cesar Chavez that are particularly relevant in our current political climate. Chavez had a remarkable skill for bringing communities to the table, for effectively engaging across unspoken lines, and for demonstrating how the courage of one […] Read More

3 Reasons to Register a Team for the Human Race

Mar 9, 2016

If you’ve never participated in the Human Race, our Human Race Coordinator Kelly Mercer has 3 reasons why you should sign up this year! 2016 marks my 4th year directing this collaborative community fundraising event for Santa Cruz County, and I can honestly say I am most excited about the potential for this year’s event. Here […] Read More

In Celebration of AmeriCorps

Mar 7, 2016

Did you know that we have an amazing group of individuals in Santa Cruz County who have chosen to devote a year of their time to National Service? This dedicated cadre of individuals are heading off to non-profits and schools everyday of the week to make our community better. Often they are doing the quiet […] Read More

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