Putting Community First During a Public Health Emergency

Our mission at the Volunteer Center is to transform our community and ourselves for good through the power of each one of us finding meaningful ways to contribute our time, talent and resources to make our world better.  While this is always a big job – engaging 15,000 volunteers to donate $11 million worth of time to 300 partners and 7,500 neighbors – it is also usually simple and joyful.

A Public Health Emergency calls on us to think differently and to re-examine our individual needs and preferences – including our desire to help – in light of what the whole community needs to slow the rate of transmission of Covid 19 and support our health care system in responding to people who will become sick.  We are committed to doing our part to promote public health by postponing, interrupting or canceling some activities while staying true to our mission of finding healthy, creative ways for people to contribute to community good.

View the list of services we are maintaining during the COVID Crisis.

Here is what we are doing in the next two weeks to help, and we encourage you to watch our website for updates.

We are canceling or delaying most group services and activities, including meetings, trainings and recognition events for the Literacy, YouthServe, Matter of Balance, CityServe, College Connection, Volunteer Initiative Program and Friends Outside programs.

We are transitioning face to face services to phone or online for Court Community Service, Literacy, Family Partnership, Friends Outside, Career Services, Volunteer Matchmaking, and most Mental Health Services.  This means we are closing all locations to walk-in services for two weeks effective Monday, March 16.

We are sustaining some in-person services because they are essential to the health and/or mental health of persons served.  Those include services to homeless people in mental health; site-based mental health services in north and south county; senior transportation services for medical and food access.  We are decreasing hours and increasing screening to keep people safe.

We are increasing and flexing some activities to meet emerging needs for people and partners during this emergency.  So far, this includes adding wellness check-ins for people living independently who can no longer access Mental Health services; expanding volunteer efforts to shop for seniors; increasing training and support for nonprofit partners to do online fundraising during the Human Race to offset costs and revenue losses caused by Covid; increased recruitment for special volunteers to help our County and nonprofit partners with emergency response needs.

This is a generous and caring community, and we are working to reach out and find creative ways that people can help during this emergency.  Count on us for information and ideas about how you can connect for good!

View the services we are maintaining during the Covid Crisis

Learn More and Register as an Emergency Response Volunteer

Blog Post Written by Volunteer Center Executive Director Karen Delaney.  Karen has led the Volunteer Center for more than 30 years and is an internationally recognized leader, trainer and speaker in the field of volunteerism, community building and nonprofit management. Karen’s formula for success is “hope, fun, curiosity, gratitude, belief in people and good data.”