The Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County and fellow non-profits are gearing up for a day of community action for Martin Luther King Day on Monday, Jan 21, 2019. Community members are invited to register for one of the projects offered or to join in the Santa Cruz March for Unity.
“Each year hundreds of local residents are inspired to carry the principles of Dr Martin Luther King Jr forward through a day of community action. We expect a great turn-out this year as we have partnered with fellow
non-profits and the faith based community to offer a range of exciting options,” states Volunteer Center Mobilization Coordinator Christina Thurston.
“National Days of Service provide an excellent opportunity for people to unite together to make an impact on the pressing needs within the community,” continues Thurston.
Space is available for individuals, groups, and families to help maintain local beaches, support community members in need, or revitalize outdoor spaces.
In addition to projects open to all community members, 40 doctors, nurses, and staff from Kaiser Permanente Santa Cruz County will be volunteering with the Coastal Watershed Council to plant 500 native plants along the San Lorenzo River Walk.
“At Kaiser Permanente, MLK Day is a long-time day on, not off,” states Dr. Christine Levan, Physician in Charge, “2019 is our second time volunteering to improve the community as new workers in the Santa Cruz County community,” continues Levan.
Organizations and programs collaborating with the Volunteer Center to offer service projects on the Holiday include the Coastal Watershed Council, CityServe, Ecology Action, Evergreen Historical Cemetery, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, Meal on Wheels, Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, and UCSC Arboretum.
Community members are encouraged to register in advance online but they can also join on the day of at the Volunteer Center MLK Day of Service Celebration from 12-2 p.m. Santa Cruz Bible Church (440 Frederick St. Santa Cruz). All are welcome for light refreshments, coffee, and drop-in volunteer projects that include card making for Meals on Wheels clients.
“While many of the projects will happen in the morning, we are also offering a project in the afternoon to accommodate those who want to attend the 2019 MLK Day March for Unity co-hosted by the NAACP’s Santa Cruz County Branch and the Santa Cruz Police Department, ” states Thurston.
The March begins at 10:00 a.m. on Pacific Ave. between Cathcart and Cedar streets in downtown Santa Cruz, to be followed by speeches and family-friendly activities on Cooper Street. Volunteers are also needed to support the March. Interested community members can find out more about this opportunity and register on the Volunteer Center website.
“If you have been thinking about ways to get more involved in your community in the New Year, Martin Luther King Day offers the perfect opportunity to get started on that desire,” states Thurston.
In the last year, the Volunteer Center has mobilized over 12,500 volunteers who have infused more than $9 million dollars back into the community through their volunteer work. The Volunteer Center promotes volunteerism throughout the county and aims to make opportunities accessible to all community members.
In an effort to make the process of finding volunteer opportunities quick and easy, the Volunteer Center maintains an on-line database of volunteer opportunities. Santa Cruz County volunteers and nonprofit organizations can easily find each other by visiting the Volunteer Center website.