UCSC: Empowering communities through partnership

Five UCSC undergraduates, one graduate student, and two faculty members working with The Blum Center on Poverty, Social Enterprise, and Participatory Governance spent their Saturday volunteering at the build site, highlighting one of the experiential learning opportunities UCSC students are gaining from a partnership with Habitat for Humanity.  Originally Published May 17, 2023 By Haneen Zain This project was made … Read more

10 Ways to Make a Difference During Global Volunteer Month

Youthserve Volunteers and staff help out at the Homeless Garden Project

April is Global Volunteer Month, and the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County is leading the charge with volunteer opportunities taking place every day in April.  The U.S. Surgeon General’s Office recently highlighted in an advisory the negative health impacts of loneliness, isolation, and social disconnection, referring to the situation as an epidemic in the … Read more

Vote for Volunteers!

We’re participating in the Target Circle program! Vote for the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County and help direct Target’s giving to support volunteers in our community.  If you shop at Target and are a member of Target’s loyalty program, you automatically earn “votes” for local nonprofits every time you shop. These votes are turned … Read more

2023 Finding Comfort and Joy

A Letter from our Executive Director, Karen Delaney We started 2023 together in the pouring rain – and hundreds of you showed up to fill and place sandbags, help with evacuations and staff shelters.  It is hard to describe how much it changes one’s view of the world to see ordinary people show up, day … Read more

Five Ways to Give Joy this Holiday Season

Want to jump-start that feeling of holiday joy you had as a child?  Then, join a cherished local tradition: giving the gift of joy through the Volunteer Center’s Adopt-a-Family program.  Bringing joy to a child is one of the greatest feelings of all, that embodies what this season is all about. Adopt-A Family is a … Read more

Dear Nonprofits: Volunteers are Eager to Help You this Holiday Season!

List your projects in the Volunteer Center's 2023 Holiday Volunteer Guide

If you are a nonprofit leader, here are a few facts you might find interesting: 25% of all new volunteers make their first contribution to an organization between Thanksgiving and New Year’s! -and- Over 300 NEW volunteers contact the Volunteer Center during the holidays – looking for ways to support organizations like yours. At the Volunteer Center, … Read more

Get Out and About in June!

It’s summer in Santa Cruz County and you know what that means? It’s time to Get Out and About – volunteering to foster a thriving, inclusive community! This month,we’re featuring volunteer opportunities that aim to ensure everyone in our community feels seen, heard, and valued, and get you out and about enjoying our beautiful parks, … Read more

Connecting People for Good

Martin Luther King Jr. once said “Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. … You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”  Volunteering in service to others helps our local community, and inspires and enriches our participants’ lives. Our participants in the Avenues program come to us with the … Read more

Sign Up Now to Get Help and Help Others

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

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

Volunteers Showing Up with Love for Post-Storm Cleanup

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.

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

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

A Year of Miracles

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

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

The Holiday Volunteer Guide is Here!

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

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

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