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The best act of service right now is to protect each other’s health by staying at home.  Here are some ideas for how stay connected and support your community from home!  Many of these projects are family-friendly, so if you have kids, they can help too!

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Assist Your Community by Sewing a Mask AT HOME VOLUNTEER

Given potential shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), fabric masks and gowns may be an option for some. Your time and talent is greatly appreciated in the community to help ensure safety. Fabric masks offer the benefit of being able to be washed and re-used. These can be used for people who have symptoms of being ill or congregate living facilities to prevent the spread of illness. Masks will be used for volunteers providing essential services and donated to the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency for distribution to medical facilities and community programs based on need and priority. Click here to download guidelines for this project. Click here to download mask-making pattern. Completed masks can be dropped off at the Volunteer Center Monday through Thursday between 10AM-12PM or 1PM-4PM. A bin will be available in the downstairs lobby. Please place your masks in a bag along with a note that includes your full name and the number of masks inside. Address: 1740 17th Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062 Additionally, you can reach out to us at to arrange a pick-up.

Help Seniors Stay Connected

Stay-at-Home Volunteer Opportunity - can you help? Volunteers are needed to provide support to seniors remotely, over the phone or via zoom, in order to help our community Stay Connected: Stay Connected Program volunteers dedicate themselves to ensuring that older adults have an alternative to social isolation and loss of personal independence. Services are available to older adults of all races, faiths, and cultures. Stay Connected calls say... “You have a friend who calls you on a regular basis.” Stay connected volunteers place calls to older adults who live alone, want to remain in their own homes, and are isolated at home. These calls are not just to check on their well-being, as important as that may be, but also to socialize and talk about things of common interest. Volunteers are asked to commit to one phone call a week for at least 6-weeks to provide support to seniors who need to access services from home. Won't you join the team? We will provide training and ongoing support for all volunteers. Contact us now to hear more and attend our next training!

Homework Club Mentor

The Davenport Resource Services Center is in need of enthusiastic and knowledgeable tutors to help students learn! We are looking for volunteers with afternoon availability on Mondays and Wednesdays (we may expand our program to Thursdays also as needed) to support our Homework Club program by providing weekly one-hour tutoring sessions for local 2nd-6th grade students via Zoom. As all sessions will be held at-a-distance, the ideal volunteer for this role would feel comfortable using Zoom’s meeting tools to lead their session and keep students engaged. Attached is our recruitment flyer with more information. This role is fully virtual, allowing volunteers to engage with students from home. OR...Select the Red "Express Interest" button below and the coordinator will contact you. **This is a Referral Opportunity, which means it is run directly by one of our nonprofit partners. Once you express interest, someone from the partner organization should follow up with you shortly to discuss confirming you as a volunteer for this opportunity.

Literacy Tutor

The Literacy Program of Santa Cruz is looking for dedicated individuals to help community members learn English. This can help them get a better job, be able to talk to their children's teachers, and be able to get help in an emergency. 
 Volunteer tutors are trained and matched with adult students who have strong desires to learn the English language. During "Stay At Home" orders tutors meet with students over the phone or using a digital platform (Zoom, Google Hangout, Facetime, etc). No teaching or foreign language experience needed. It isvery rewarding to see a student grow before you, and requires only 2-3 hours per week. The FIRST step to becoming a Literacy Tutor is to attend a mandatory one hour Orientation. Express Interest for more information or go to the website: You can also contact the Literacy Program of Santa Cruz County at (831) 427.5077.


While we're all stuck at home some people are feeling the stress of isolation. Many seniors are no longer able to see their regular friends and support network. You can send some extra good vibes with a handmade greeting card. Handmade greeting card instructions: Create a card to show support for those feeling isolated Use colored paper, stickers, markers, and other supplies to create an uplifting card. Include a nice message such as: “Just a friendly little hello from me to you” “Hi there! Just felt like sharing a smile with you today” “Just wanted to send some happy thoughts your way today” “Take extra good care!” “Sending good, healthy vibes your way” “Wishing you well” “Sending hugs and love” “Thinking of you at this time” Completed cards can be dropped off at our office located at: 1740 17th Ave, Santa Cruz, Monday through Thursday between 10 AM-12 PM or 1 PM-4 PM. Please place them in the donation bin in the downstairs lobby along with a note that includes your full name. Or set up a pick-up or drop-off location and time with the YouthSERVE Coordinator,


While you're stuck at home you can clean out your closet and make some braided dog toys for your local animal shelters. This is a new project we've never tried before, but it's gotten good reviews from others. All you need is an old t-shirt and scissors. Watch the instruction video on YouTube: T-shirt dog toy Instructions: Lay the shirt down on a flat surface and cut across the chest Cut 1-2 inch strips (at least 3 strips since you will braid them) you can use multiple shirts if you want to mix colors Take a small strip and tie it around the top of the strips (an inch or less below the top of the strips) Braid the three strips tightly all the down Once braided, use another small strip of fabric to tie the ends of the toy You can drop your completed dog toys off at our office: 1740 17th Ave, Santa Cruz - Monday-Thursday between 10 AM-12 PM or 1 PM-4 PM. A bin will be available in the downstairs lobby. Please make sure to include a note with your full name so we can confirm with you that we received your donation. or contact Malia to schedule a pick-up: If you don't have any spare t-shirts lying around, feel free to pick some up from our Live Oak office! There are plenty of new Human Race t-shirts available upon request. Contact Malia for more information or to set up a pickup time. ​Use the "Express Interest" button below to let us know that you're planning on completing the project.

Prepare Your Family for Emergencies

Get Ready | Esten Listos Santa Cruz County is a new project to reach out to our community and help them prepare for a disaster. We've developed easy to use materials and resources that take only 15-minutes to review with your family and start a discussion to ensure that you know what you will do if you need to evacuate your home. Express interest in this project and we will send you electronic resources and follow up to see if you want physical materials mailed to you.

Support Seniors as a Dispatcher for Grocery Shopper Program

Many seniors and people living with disabilities are unable to go grocery shopping due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. These individuals rely on the kindness and generosity of volunteers in our community. Volunteer shoppers donate their time to shop and deliver groceries. Our volunteer dispatchers piece the whole puzzle together by matching seniors’ needs with shopper availability. Schedule: -Our dispatch desk is open Monday-Friday -Dispatchers take one or more 3-4 hour shifts a week depending on their availability -We ask that our dispatchers commit to 3 months of volunteering Responsibilities: -Answer calls and emails to facilitate matches between seniors and volunteer drivers -Explain how our program operates to new volunteers -Record all ride assignments Qualifications: -Patient, kind, and organized -Eager to help seniors - Dispatchers will need reliable transportation method -Willingness to learn new computer programs Training/Support: -Program training and overview with staff -Volunteers will receive ongoing training and support Benefits: -Volunteering is good for your health! -Decreased levels of stress, a lower risk for depression -Satisfaction of making a difference in your community and in the lives of others Get Involved...Select the Red "Express Interest" button below Learn more about the Grocery Shopper Program here! You can also contact or (831) 427-3435

Thinking of You Cards for Isolated Seniors

Volunteers are needed to send cards for Isolated Seniors in Care Facilities! Ideas for Cards: Personal notes/letters Homemade cards Photographs Postcards Picture cards (flowers/landscapes/animals) Special occasions (Birthdays/Holidays) We are also accepting other items: iPads, iPods, Crossword puzzle books, Word Search puzzles and coloring books. For more information contact: Nancy Cleveland Family Service Agency/I-You Venture Phone: (831 459-8917, Ext 205

Contact the Volunteer Center

1740 17th Ave
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Phone: 831-427-5070

©2017 Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County, an affiliate of the HandsOn Connect, 1740 17th Ave | Santa Cruz, CA 95062

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