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

National Service Reminds Us What Makes America Great

Oct 11, 2016

Greatness is a political football right now.  I have always been a fan of the opinion shared by Alexis de Toqueville and Dr. Martin Luther King. De Toqueville said, “America is great, because America is good.” When he visited America as a new Republic, he was astonished by the wide spread, common impulse of Americans […] Read More

Show Your Support for Young Adults with Cancer

Oct 5, 2016

On Saturday October 15th the Volunteer Center will host a fabulous evening of Swing Dance and Fundraising at the Felton Community Hall from 6-9 PM to support our former co-worker and dear friend Laurel Hillerson Spear in kick-starting Fiona’s Family House, a new non-profit program for young adults battling cancer. Motivated by her own struggles […] Read More

3 Reasons to Love Santa Cruz County BoardMatch

Sep 30, 2016

Are you looking for a new way to deepen your connection to our community? Santa Cruz County has hundreds of local non-profits that seek dedicated community members to serve on their boards. Guest blogger Luis Chabolla of  Community Foundation Santa Cruz County has three great reasons why you should consider attending BoardMatch this fall to […] Read More

Volunteer Support for Loma Fire

Sep 27, 2016

We have received a number of inquiries from community members about how they can help respond to the Loma Fire. We appreciate your willingness to step up for your neighbors. Emergency crews are working around the clock to contain the fire. We are in close contact with the Red Cross and other emergency response agencies […] Read More

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

Blog Archives


Share this: