Planting the Seeds of Holiday Kindness

Nov 22, 2017

Since the beginning of the school year I have been volunteering to teach a weekly garden program in my son’s 2nd grade class. Last week marked our final class for the fall.  As a closing activity, I took a few moments to share with the class what I do for work at the Volunteer Center […] Read More

Breaking Secrecy and the Cycle of Illiteracy

Nov 2, 2017

“I have a pact with my mom, she helps me prepare for tests and in return, I help with her English homework. Can you keep a secret? I don’t need help, I just pretend, so that later I can help her. She feels bad that she cannot read to me. Promise, you will not tell!” […] Read More

Stand With Dreamers

Oct 23, 2017

The headlines are unsettling- Walls, Bans, Deportations. Is this who we really are? The America that I love chose “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of Many, One) as our National Motto in 1776 because our founders realized that, as a nation of and for immigrants, our strength comes from our diversity. Unless you are a member of […] Read More

Join us on Make a Difference Day- Oct 28

Oct 20, 2017

We want to invite you to participate in Make a Difference Day 2017 with projects available throughout Santa Cruz County on Saturday October 28th. Each year, millions of busy Americans take time out of their day to volunteer for their community, making Make a Difference Day one of the largest days of service in the […] Read More

Volunteer Support For Bear Fire

Oct 17, 2017

We have received a number of inquiries from community members about how they can help respond to the Bear Fire. We appreciate your willingness to step up for your neighbors. Emergency crews are working around the clock to contain the fire. Volunteers are not needed at this moment. Please do not go to evacuation centers, […] Read More

Generating Awareness on Falls Prevention Day

Sep 22, 2017

I recently spent time in the home of a senior in Santa Cruz who reached out to Helping Hands for help with identifying hazard areas in and around her home that could cause her to fall. Mary explained to me that she had stopped visiting friends and going on walks because she was afraid of […] Read More

Genie Dee- The Power of One Life For Good

Sep 19, 2017

“A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.” – Confucius, Chinese philosopher This is a perfect description of Genie Dee, our Literacy Program Director at the Volunteer Center. Genie was driven, focused, committed, and lit up from the inside — unable to be deterred or distracted by the ravages of […] Read More

Hurricane Relief- Red Cross Shelter Workers Needed

Sep 13, 2017

The Central Coast Chapter of the Red Cross is helping to dispatch individuals who want to provide Hurricane Harvey and Irma disaster relief. Efforts will be ongoing in Texas, Louisiana and Florida at least until November 1st. Do you want to volunteer as a Red Cross Shelter worker? If you meet the following criteria you […] Read More

2017 Be the Difference Awards- Call for Nominations

Aug 22, 2017

The Call for Nominations for the 11th Annual Be the Difference Awards has begun.  The “Be the Difference” Awards are about honoring the individuals, groups, non-profits, and businesses who make Santa Cruz County  a better place to live through volunteerism. All community members are invited to share their stories of inspiration.  Have you worked alongside […] Read More

Cheers to 50 Years Birthday Bash… Join us.

Jun 28, 2017

Join us as we say Cheers to 50 Years at our summer celebration happening on Saturday July 29th at the Sesnon House from 3:30- 6:30 PM. We are so proud to celebrate with you and to honor what we have accomplished together. So much has changed in the last 50 years. We’ve been through 4 […] Read More

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

Blog Archives


Share this: