Volunteer Center Birthday Bash
Sesnon House (6500 Soquel Dr. Aptos) July 29 from 3:30 -6:30 p.m.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our supporters and the community at large to come together in celebration of 50 years of volunteerism in Santa Cruz County,” states Volunteer Center Executive Director Karen Delaney.
The Volunteer Center opened it’s doors in 1967 when Marian McBee, Kathryn Merriam, and Margaret Schaeffer, three local social workers inspired by their passion for helping others, set up shop at a loaned office space in downtown Santa Cruz. They set out to develop volunteer programs that would lift up residents in need. Within a year, they hired a staff member and developed a mentoring program for boys in need of male role models, a tutoring program for adults who spoke no English, a jail visitation program, and two programs addressing the needs of homebound seniors.
What started as a few volunteers has now grown into 4 facilities county-wide, 16 programs, over 12,500 volunteers who annually provide services to 9,000 local people, and partnerships with 500+ non-profit, school, and public partners.
“Together, our founders launched a powerful movement of local people working together to solve local problems. In our 50 year history more than 200,000 people have stepped through our doors with a desire to transform our community for good,” states Delaney.
Over the last 50 years the Volunteer Center has recognized a steady growth in volunteerism in Santa Cruz County, regardless of political or financial climate, individuals have found a way to remain engaged in their communities.
“Given the great divisions we are currently seeing, it is refreshing to look around and appreciate how many wonderful things are happening right now because of volunteers. Ultimately if given the right tools and the opportunity, people want to make a difference and they are quite effective at it,” states Delaney.
“At the heart of every community there are those who take action to make it work. Because of volunteers in Santa Cruz County we have a vibrant art life, hula shows on the wharf, clean beaches, free and fair elections, recreation programs, school gardens and tutors, and the list just goes on,” continues Delaney.
Santa Cruz County volunteers are part of a national movement of more than 62 million individuals who annually step up to volunteer in their local communities.
“Dedicated volunteers are the backbone of so many communities across the country. As the Executive Director of the Volunteer Center for over 30 years, I feel so fortunate that I have had the opportunity to witness acts of kindness carried out by everyday people nearly every day of my job. I am excited to celebrate, share memories, and honor the legacy of the thousands of local volunteers who are part of this movement at our upcoming birthday bash,” states Delaney.
Attendees can expect summer BBQ, drinks, dessert, live music, an auction, raffle prizes, service projects, and good company.
“We have planned a fun and festive summer gathering with activities for all ages. If a volunteer has made a difference in your life in the last 50 years we invite you to come raise a glass with us,” states Delaney.
“Cheers to 50 Years” Volunteer Center Birthday Bash Sesnon House (6500 Soquel Dr. Aptos) July 29 from 3:30 -6:30 p.m.
Tickets are $40 per person or $120 for a family of 4. Individuals are asked to purchase tickets or RSVP by July 21.
Community members can visit the Volunteer Center website at www.scvolunteercenter.org or call 831-427-5070 to purchase tickets, learn more about party, related events or opportunities to connect.
Individuals who want to find the right match for their volunteer interests, can visit the Volunteer Center website where over 300 online opportunities are offered.
The Volunteer Center provides in-person, phone and electronic matching services to connect individuals with the perfect fit for their time, skill, and interest. Match Specialists work with individuals find a volunteer position that is tailored to their individual need. Last year over 8,000 volunteers were referred to fellow non-profits through their Matching Services.
50th Anniversary Information Page: https://scvolunteercenter.org/about-us/celebrating-50-years/