Keep the Lights On Santa Cruz County Watch Party- May 5th

Like many community organizations, here at the Volunteer Center, we’ve made huge shifts in the way we business in order to both continue operations and meet the immediate critical needs of the community during the public health emergency.

This public health emergency has had a huge emotional and economic toll on so many. From community members without access to services to local nonprofits facing seemingly insurmountable challenges, we know the need for support runs deep.

In response, we chose to refocus our resources, communications, and program priorities to emphasize the role that community members can play in helping keep the lights on for our community.

One major shift we made was to take the 40th annual Human Race Campaign, entirely online. 

We worked with our nonprofit and training partners to shift the Human Race to a 100% virtual fundraising campaign, with the hope that all our great nonprofit and community partners – including schools, faith-based groups, and service clubs – that had to cancel in-person fundraising events – could use our tools and training to raise much-needed funds.

Over its history, the Human Race has raised close to $15 Million Dollars for nonprofit and school partners, making it the largest collaborative fundraiser on the central coast. Last year 80% of the overall funds raised were raised online. 

Drawing on our 40-year history of hosting the Human Race, we know our community has never wavered in their willingness to give. We feel confident the Human Race will remain a testament to how we pull together as a community to spread hope and generosity, even in the most challenging of times.

Thus far, nearly 900 donors have contributed more than $95,000 to 80+ participating nonprofits, schools, and community groups. 

Eventually, tomorrow will come and doors will reopen. We want to ensure that the groups we rely on to make our community whole will still be there when we need them. Right now, so many local nonprofits are finding creative ways to adapt and do what they do best. Even with shuttered doors, their lights are still shining bright to meet critical community needs.

We know that you want to help our beloved local nonprofits and we are proud to give you the opportunity to do so.

While the in-person walk and fun run celebration that traditionally caps off the Human Race Giving Campaign won’t happen this year, we’ve planned two special celebrations to bring the community together.

This coming Tuesday, May 5th in honor of #GivingTuesdayNow at 10 AM we will host the watch party premiere of Keep the Lights on Santa Cruz County, an online gathering to uplift and inspire our community to action while sheltering in place.

 We have an incredible line-up of community leaders, nonprofit heroes, professional athletes, and musicians from across the country who will provide an hour of entertainment and will call on the community to volunteer, donate, or choose simple acts of kindness this week and beyond.

We are thrilled to have San Jose Earthquakes Defender Tommy Thompson join us to share how he is using his talent to motivate aspiring soccer athletes from around the world while sheltering in place. We will also be entertained by American jazz singer-songwriter Sasha Dobson who now lives in New York City but originally hails from Santa Cruz, and City Council Member Martine Watkins will share how local children can participate in an online coloring contest.

From story-time with the Santa Cruz Library to words of wisdom from our health professionals and inspiration from our nonprofit heroes, it will be a jam-packed hour of goodness for the whole family.

This special event will serve to launch the Human Race Campaign into our final days of giving. The campaign will come to a close with a live virtual celebration on Saturday, May 9th. 

You can join us for these events right from our homepage or join the live conversation during the premiere on our youtube channel. 

Learn more about our line-up and how to join us!

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