"I think it’s our duty as humans to help others and seek to repair injustice." –Natt

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Volunteer Profiles - Meet Natt

Natt is the AmeriCorps Volunteer infrastructure Program (VIP) Lead at the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County. Through this program, Natt supports fellow AmeriCorps Members who are placed for a one-year term at fellow nonprofits. This community team serves to coordinate programs and support volunteers in order to increase the overall number of volunteers within Santa Cruz County.

One of Natt’s primary roles at the Volunteer Center beyond providing leadership to fellow AmeriCorps members, is to recruit and support volunteers in finding meaningful opportunities within the community. Given the incredible challenges in the last year with the pandemic and fires combined with the modifications needed to keep volunteers safe, Natt had their work cut out for them. Natt was called in to assist with large scale volunteer mobilization campaigns, including the CZU Lightning Complex Fires, the Mass COVID Vaccine rollout, and the Volunteer Center Adopt a Family Project. Through these programs they have helped cultivate connections with over 3000+ volunteers.

"I am really proud of how my AmeriCorps work reflects my devotion to both social justice issues and crisis management. I think the bulk of my service has been in response to the social issues in our community that have been exacerbated by COVID, and it feels really good to be helping in such a time of great need. In the last year I also completed a training to be a Certified Domestic Violence Hotline Advocate. I am grateful I was able to do this as part of my year of AmeriCorps service. Now I am a Domestic Violence Advocate at the hotline once per week, and I wholeheartedly appreciate the opportunity to help people in crisis plan for how to handle difficult domestic violence situations,” states Natt.

Launching into 2021, Natt has not slowed down on their effort. They are actively supporting daily operations at mass vaccine clinics and most recently, worked with community partners to build a campaign to support our homeless neighbors in accessing sanitary supplies. Helping People. Period launched on March 6th as a tampon and sanitary supplies drive.

"Many individuals living in poverty are unable to access the basic products required to manage their menstrual health and this negatively impacts their ability to participate in daily activities. I firmly believe that everyone should have access and opportunity to menstruate with dignity and comfort. This drive is personal for me and one of the issues I am most passionate about because it focuses on empowering people and recognizing basic humanity.  I can’t imagine having to choose every month between buying food and buying tampons or pads, let alone not having access to a hot shower or a clean bathroom during my menstrual cycle,” states Natt.

Community members are invited to support this campaign by dropping off donations of unopened boxes of tampons or pads, sanitary wipes, and new packages of underwear at participating locations including the Volunteer Center Live Oak Office and Woodstock Pizza in Downtown Santa Cruz now through March 29th. Collected items will be delivered to the Downtown Streets Team to be delivered to our houseless community.

"There are so many injustices in the world, and sometimes it’s overwhelming to think about that. I think it’s our duty as humans to help others and seek to repair injustice. I know that I can’t fix everything, but by taking things one step at a time and committing myself to helping others and spreading the word about these issues, I think I can effect change,” states Natt.

Want to join Natt in effecting change?

GIVE YOUR TIME:  Donate to the Helping People. Period Campaign or register as a volunteer at the Mass Vaccination Clinics.

READY TO GIVE A YEAR?- Learn more about the Volunteer Center AmeriCorps VIP program.

FIND YOUR CAUSE: Still trying to discover your passion? Explore volunteer opportunities currently available.

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