Join Your Neighbors in Service To Celebrate His Legacy
The Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County and fellow non-profits are gearing up for a successful day of service for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan 19. Community members are invited to register for one of the projects offered throughout the county.
“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, the city of Santa Cruz and the faith based community to offer a range of exciting options”, states Volunteer Center Mobilization Coordinator Christina Thurston. “National Days of Service are an excellent example of how individuals can join together to make an impact on the pressing needs within our community,” states Thurston.
Community organizations collaborating with the Volunteer Center to offer service projects on the Holiday include California Native Plant Society, CityServe, Digital Nest, Homeless Garden Project, Homeless Service Center, Jacobs Heart, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, Museum of Art and History, Save our Shores and Young Writers Program.
Community members are encouraged register in advance online or on the day of at the MLK Day of Service Kick-Off Celebration from 9-9:45 AM at Santa Cruz Bible Church, 440 Frederick St., Santa Cruz. Mayor Don Lane, representatives from the NAACP and the community group Compassion Santa Cruz with be there to inspire the crowd before heading our for a day of action.
“As the incoming Mayor for the City of Santa Cruz, I want to join with cities across the country in the Compassionate Communities initiative. I want to encourage our community to think compassionately and seek creative ways to take action for the greater good of our city. Martin Luther King Day provides a perfect opportunity to launch a year of compassionate action”, states Mayor Lane.
Lane and Compassion Santa Cruz have teamed up with the Volunteer Center to invite community members to take a pledge for compassionate action in 2015. Individuals who take the pledge will then be offered monthly opportunities, tips and on-going support from the Volunteer Center to successfully fulfill their pledge.
“Our goal will be to make it easy and accessible for anyone to fulfill a pledge for action,” states Thurston.
The Volunteer Center AmeriCorps team kicked off a clothing and blanket drive that will culminate on MLK Day. Community members are invited to donate new and gently used coats, scarves, blankets, and new toiletries at one of the participating locations by Jan 17. Items will be collected and sorted on Martin Luther King Day as part of the day of action. Drop-off locations and hours can be found by visiting the Volunteer Center website at www.scvolunteercenter.org
“Many of us resolved to get more involved with needs of our community in the New Year. MLK Day and the related events offer the opportunity to get started on that commitment,” states Thurston. “Volunteers are needed everyday and are vital to the continuation of community programs and public services. Many programs in this county simply could not exist without community members who are willing to share their time and talent.”
In the last year, the Volunteer Center mobilized more than 10,000 volunteers who have put more than $8 million dollars back into the community through their volunteer labor. The Volunteer Center promotes volunteerism throughout the county and aims to make opportunities accessible to all community members.
To make the process of finding volunteer opportunities quick and easy, the Volunteer Center maintains an on-line database. Santa Cruz County volunteers and nonprofit organizations can find each other by visiting www.scvolunteernow.org