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In Celebration of Older American’s Month

May 24, 2017

Talking with seniors everyday has changed how I look at aging.  I realize getting older has a lot more to do with one’s attitude than age. Everyday I meet wonderful individuals who dispel misconceptions about what a senior looks and acts like. So many seniors I encounter seek to live in a way that not […] Read More

See You at the Human Race This Saturday

May 11, 2017

Give More. Grant Wishes. Make Magic We are so excited to celebrate with our community this Saturday May 13th at the 37th Annual Human Race Walkathon and Fun Run and we hope to see you there. All are invited to walk, run, skip, or roll with us. Bring your neighbors, friends, and family and enjoy […] Read More

Lives in Balance- Take Action to Help Seniors

Apr 26, 2017

Take action today to help seniors keep food on the table! Most days, the tempest in Washington DC seems far away and we are free to focus on doing good right here, right now in the community we love. Here is what was in my inbox this week – also received by the Directors of […] Read More

At The Heart Of Community Change For 50 Years

Apr 18, 2017

1967 was the Summer of Love in California. LBJ’s Great Society and the signing of the Voting Rights Act sparked activists in communities all over America to work for positive change. Marian McBee, Kathryn Merriam, and Margaret Schaeffer, three remarkable women inspired by their passion for helping others, set up shop at a loaned office space […] Read More

Value of AmeriCorps

Apr 5, 2017

We all see the many problems that people face in our own community and nationally but only a few of us are willing to give up the comforts of our daily lives and take action. This is the true value of the AmeriCorps program – it provides a framework for any American to make a […] Read More

Why Celebrate Potential?

Mar 31, 2017

I am looking forward to one of my favorite events next week – our Community Connection Celebrate Potential Recognition happening next Thursday April 6. In a world obsessed with outcome metrics and pay for performance, let me tell you why Celebrating Potential is so important to the people in our programs, our community and, yes, […] Read More

Making Magic With The 2017 Human Race

Mar 28, 2017

The Volunteer Center and our partners are proud to kick off the 2017 Human Race fundraising campaign today with our newest tagline, “Give More, Make Magic, and Grant Wishes”.  Over 130 non-profits, schools, churches, and community groups are ready to dream big, make the impossible possible and break a new fundraising record. Big goals after […] Read More

YouthSERVE Teens Awarded Cesar Chavez Honor

Mar 20, 2017

Congratulations to our YouthSERVE Reading Buddies volunteers! They’ve been selected for this year’s Cesar Chavez Community Awards and they will receive an award from the City of Watsonville on March 23rd from 6-8pm at the Civic Plaza Community Room. The Reading Buddies Program pair tutors, ages 11-18, with children in kindergarten through second grade to […] Read More

In Praise of Women’s Work

Mar 7, 2017

 Like most local nonprofits, the Volunteer Center was founded by smart, community minded women who joined together to tackle big issues in the 60’s: the poverty and isolation of local seniors, the high rates of adult illiteracy and the needs of local children in poverty. Until quite recently local nonprofits have been disproportionately founded and […] Read More

Proposed National Funding Cuts Will Have Local Impact

Mar 4, 2017

This week is National Americorps Week – where communities through out the US recognize the contributions of the 80,000 Americans that are giving their time to improve the lives of others through National Service. In communities across the country, national service members of all ages and backgrounds provide critical services to fulfill unmet needs. Since 2009 […] Read More

Embracing Others Brings National Awards to Locals

Feb 8, 2017

For months now, our public space has been flooded with messages and images that divide us – by race, religion, region, economic status, national origin, party affiliation, gender identity – once you start looking for “the other” the list gets long fast. Yesterday morning at our Board of Supervisors meeting, I was vividly reminded that […] Read More

Volunteer on Martin Luther King Day

Jan 13, 2017

Many of us resolved to get more involved with needs of our community this year and Martin Luther King Jr Day on Monday Jan 16th offers the opportunity for you to get started on that commitment. The Volunteer Center  and fellow non-profits are gearing up for a successful day of volunteerism. We invite you to […] Read More

Together We Carry Generosity Forward

Dec 21, 2016

Tidings of comfort and joy! Let’s all take a deep breath in the midst of the Holiday frenzy to reflect on just how much comfort and joy we can create when we work together. Thanks to the generosity of people like you: 460 local families have food, clothes, blankets and gifts for their children this […] Read More

Adopt a Family Warehouse Open for Gifts

Dec 15, 2016

Thanks to those who have adopted, donated or contributed gifts through the stars program we have met our goal of supporting 450 families through the Adopt a Family Project this year!  You are making a difference in the lives of your fellow community members. We look forward to seeing you at the Adopt a Family […] Read More

Encouraging Teens to Take the Lead

Dec 8, 2016

After two years of working with youth volunteers in YouthSERVE, I have come to learn about that youth have such a vast array of interests. From gardening to technology, from literacy to art, teens continue to express their desire to contribute their talents to our community. However, there are very few opportunities in which youth […] Read More

Experience the True Spirit of the Holidays

Dec 7, 2016

This time of year we all get into the “Holiday Spirit!” We bake our favorite treats, decorate our homes, attend parties and seek ways to connect with our friends and family. No matter what holiday we celebrate we all want them to be meaningful but sometimes we struggle to bring the true spirit of the […] Read More

Best Bets for #GivingTuesday

Nov 29, 2016

Today we are proud to stand with fellow organizations from around the globe to celebrate the spirit of generosity. We know our community is made up of whole-hearted individuals who want to create more joy and lasting change. Today we want to help you carry this vision forward. Together, we can demonstrate we are a […] Read More

Giving Back For Thanksgiving and Beyond

Nov 23, 2016

The holiday season is now upon us. It is that time of year when the spirit of generosity and giving has the opportunity to take center stage and many community members step out in search of ways to make their days more meaningful. Our phone lines always pick up this time of year, with community […] Read More

Concerns Over Proposed City Funding Cuts

Nov 18, 2016

On November 10th, the Santa Cruz City Council sub-committee on community programs announced their plan to cut $157,000 from early childhood education, $120,000 from homeless services, and $68,000 from our seniors.  Their stated goal is to shift this resource allocation to other resources. The Volunteer Center stands with fellow non-profits and thousands of community residents […] Read More

Finding and Giving Joy

Nov 17, 2016

Want to know what gives me hope? Children. Their ability to create. Their desire to endlessly giggle. Their incredible curiosity about how the world works. Their simple joy. In my life I have been so fortunate to travel to lots of places and meet children from many level of circumstance. I’ve met kiddos from Cambodia […] Read More

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