Volunteer Center Executive Director Karen Delaney strategizes clean-up efforts with Team Rubicon on a sunny day in Felton Grove, Felton, CA

Sign Up Now to Get Help and Help Others

Mar 17, 2023

We’ve all seen the destruction and loss caused by last weekend’s storms and flooding. Many of you have reached out to offer help and support – thank you. Our Volunteer Mobilization team is working closely with a coalition of Watsonville nonprofits and County agencies to launch disaster clean-up Operations in Pajaro and Watsonville. And, we’re … Read more

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Are you ready to shift the narrative?

Mar 15, 2023

You know the usual suspects – the people who always show up for every campaign, event, and meeting.  The businesses that say yes to sponsorships, release their employees to mentor, coach and serve on committees, advisory councils, and Boards.  The groups that fill sandbags in the rain, deliver food on holidays, and set out in … Read more

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Who Inspires You? Call for Nominations

Mar 9, 2023

Nominate your Volunteer Hero to receive a Be the Difference Award! Do you know an individual, business, nonprofit, or community group who makes their moments matter through volunteerism?  Nominate them for a Be the Difference Award! The Annual Be the Difference Awards, hosted by the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County and sponsored by Santa Cruz Community … Read more

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Volunteers Showing Up with Love for Post-Storm Cleanup

Jan 31, 2023

Folks from Nebraska to North Carolina saw images of our battered coastline and the wreckage of Seacliff State Beach and Capitola Village. But the public — and the president — didn’t get to see the communities whose homes and livelihoods were impacted by the storms and they didn’t see who showed up to help. They didn’t see who it was that filled and delivered 40,000 sandbags, helped evacuate and feed seniors, or got over 5,000 hot meals to people in need. And they aren’t going to see the expert disaster case managers guiding people to resources they may be able to benefit from.

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Please – Donate Now to Keep Volunteers in the Field

Jan 25, 2023

When the first of three major storms rolled into Santa Cruz County on December 31, 2022, no one could have anticipated the destruction left in their wake. The combination of heavy rain, high tides, and extra large swell swallowed up many of our beaches, parks, and low-lying neighborhoods. It took more than two weeks for … Read more

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Flood Clean-Up: Sign Up Now to Get Help and Help Others

Jan 13, 2023

Photo: Aisha Charves, VC’s Career Services and Healthy Connections Program Coordinator, leading efforts to begin clean-up in her hard-hit community of Paradise Park. GET HELP WITH CLEAN-UP You don’t have to clean up alone.  The Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County provides trained, compassionate volunteers ready to shovel mud and debris, fill dumpsters, and clean, … Read more

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Karen Delaney, Executive Director, smiles brightly while holding the heart of the Volunteer Center logo.

A Year of Miracles

Dec 28, 2022

A year of miracles is drawing to a close, and I want to thank every person who stepped up and contributed passion, skill, and kindness; who donated funds, services, and goods, to connect for good.  You are the heart of our community! And, you made miracles possible. Big Miracles, like walking into an empty warehouse … Read more

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The Holiday Volunteer Guide is Here!

Nov 2, 2022

Sponsored by Santa Cruz County Bank, the 2022 Holiday Volunteer Guide offers a way for everyone to get involved with the causes they care about the most. What is the best thing about Santa Cruz County? At the Volunteer Center, we all certainly agree – it’s the people! That’s because the Santa Cruz Community never … Read more

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Wellness Connect Fills a Gap: Stability and Security for Young Adults

Oct 5, 2022

Access to mental health services is a core underlying issue for many people experiencing homelessness. The Volunteer Center offers several programs to help alleviate this issue, the most recent of which is Wellness Connect. Funded by Santa Cruz County Behavioral Health, Wellness Connect provides prevention, early intervention, treatment, and recovery services for anyone over 18 … Read more

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We Need You: Volunteer to Change Lives as a Literacy Program Tutor!

Sep 21, 2022

What if I told you that, by volunteering about three hours a week, you can completely transform a family’s future?  With just three hours a week, you can help a family increase their earnings, help their children do better in school, and change lives for this generation and those to come.   Volunteer Tutors with the … Read more

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Overcoming Mental Health Stigma & Celebrating Potential

Jul 1, 2022

By Kelsey Turnbull-Pedrazzini, Community Connection Program Coordinator When asking one of our participants about the challenges they face with a mental health diagnosis, stigma is often one of the first answers. Stigma is the negative or discriminatory ideas others have about someone with a mental health diagnosis. Self-stigma is the negative feelings or shame an … Read more

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Summertime Outside Volunteering – Two VC Staff Pick Highlights

Jun 6, 2022

Highlighting the Homeless Garden Project: Where Everyone is Included — Written by Jeanée Ryan, Monterey Bay RSVP Program Specialist at the Volunteer Center It wasn’t a chilly Thursday morning, but the falling fog was consistent out on the farm and I felt relaxed and calm. I was happy to be outdoors. Volunteers, interns, and trainees … Read more

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Connect to Action Resources on Gun Violence

May 25, 2022

JOIN US IN OUR 14 DAY CHALLENGE TO HELP END GUN VIOLENCE! At the Volunteer Center, we believe the world changes for good when people come together and use data, resources and tools to take informed actions that solve problems.  We believe that it is time we all join together across every cause to solve … Read more

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Mental Health Awareness Month Spotlight – employment & job support are critical to mental health recovery

May 13, 2022

By Kelsey Smith, Career Services Employment Specialist Returning to work can be daunting for anyone who has taken time off, particularly those overwhelmed by anxiety, depression, or other mental health challenges. Community Connection provides holistic support for people with mental health diagnoses including day classes, family support, substance use recovery services, healthy lifestyle support, and … Read more

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Take Action for Earth Day

Apr 18, 2022

Earth Day 2022 is this Friday, April 22nd! Join the world’s largest environmental movement by taking action on Friday or any other day because every day is Earth Day! We have put together a guide of all the best environmentally focused volunteer opportunities and you can choose to volunteer at a one-day event or sign … Read more

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Local teens help us keep the beach clean – Join us every month!

Mar 18, 2022

With Spring’s arrival and the weather getting warmer, now is the perfect time to join one of YouthSERVE’s monthly beach clean-ups at Main Beach in Santa Cruz. In January, we hosted a beach clean-up that just so happened to take place the day after the tsunami warning in Santa Cruz. The waves had washed up … Read more

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How Can We Ensure Nonprofits are Supported & Thrive During Future Emergencies?

Feb 22, 2022

What an honor to represent our Center and the Nonprofit Sector in my testimony at a Joint Assembly/Senate Select Committee Hearing on the topic of  “Ensuring Nonprofits are Supported and Thrive during Future Emergencies”.  This invitation was extended because the incredible work we did together over the last 2 long years of Covid and Fire … Read more

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Take Action on MLK Holiday!

Jan 13, 2022

“And one of the great liabilities of life is that all too many people find themselves living amid a great period of social change, and yet they fail to develop the new attitudes, the new mental responses, that the new situation demands. They end up sleeping through a revolution.” — Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King … Read more

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Adopt A Family – It’s More than Just a Gift

Nov 18, 2021

I’ve been volunteering with the Adopt A Family program since I was in high school and we went down to the donation warehouse to “shop” from donated gifts and put together packages. That was 22 years ago (yikes!) but the program is still delivering holiday cheer to people experiencing hardship in our community. This is … Read more

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Listening to a Generation in Crisis

Oct 19, 2021

The last two years have impacted our community in immeasurable ways. The mental, emotional and physiological distress we’ve collectively endured is only starting to surface. For some of us, we brushed the dust off our shoulders as we jumped back into our daily routines…but for others, the crippling weight of anxiety, depression, trauma and fear … Read more

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