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Holiday Volunteering

Get in the spirit of the holidays this year as a volunteer to help people in need or to support a community event. Many of these volunteer projects are open to families and kids - including projects you can complete at home. 

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Adopt A Family Database and Tech Support

The Adopt a Family program provides clothing, toys, and food to over 400 of Santa Cruz County's neediest families during the holiday season. We are looking for volunteers to help with this project. Volunteer Duties include: Entering Family Adoption information into our databases to ensure we have all the necessary information when donors begin calling in to adopt families. This organizing is critical to ensure the project gets off to a great start with all the essential information in the correct places. After the project is launched volunteers keep track of adoptions, enter this year's donor information into our database, and indicate which families have been adopted. Volunteer Shifts & Time Commitment: We need volunteers for 2-4 hours per week from October 27th through December 20th. You are not required to volunteer for the duration of the project but being able to do more than one shift is helpful. Volunteer Qualifications include: comfort using computers and simple database and attention to detail. Location: Santa Cruz Volunteer Center, 1740 17th ave, Santa Cruz, Ca. 95062 This is a great opportunity to connect with your community, gain experience managing a database and support this vital work to help our community.

Santa Cruz, CA

Through 1/31/21

Adopt A Family Planning Committee

Every holiday season the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County's Adopt-A-Family project connects donors over 450 local families in need. We are looking for people interested in joining the Adopt-A-Family planning committee. We meet monthly from July - December and members work on projects between meetings. You may be invited to help us make important coordination decisions and take on projects that interest you. The time commitment is flexible but typically around an hour per week. Read more about Adopt-A-Family

Santa Cruz, CA

Through 12/8/20

Adopt A Family: Hotline Volunteer

This program provides clothing, toys, and food to families in need during the holiday season. Volunteer Activities: Join us for this fun, exciting position helping to match donors with families in need of food and gifts. As a hotline volunteer, you will review family profiles with donors to make a match. You will also assist with sending the family wishlists to donors and tracking adoptions in the database. Hotline volunteers play a key role in coordinating the adoptions and inspiring donors to get involved! Volunteer Qualifications: Adoption hotline volunteers should be personable, detail-oriented, comfortable using email and enthusiastic about the mission of the Adopt A Family Program. If you are a fun, social person who enjoys connecting with people and helping families in need, then this is a great position for you! Dates Needed: November 2 - December 11 Shifts: We have shifts Monday - Thursday. The morning shift is 10am to 1pm and the afternoon shift is 1pm to 3:00pm This is a great opportunity to work with a large organization helping families in need.

Santa Cruz, CA

Through 12/11/20

Gift Bag Decoration or Holiday Stars AT HOME

Join us for Family Volunteer Day to bring cheer to our annual Adopt A Family project. The Adopt A Family project provides food, clothing and toys to 450 of Santa Cruz County's neediest families during the holiday season. This year we are supporting 100 families that have been impacted by the CZU Fires, and every family is facing special circumstances. Every year approximately 25 families on our list go un-adopted, and we depend on our on donations from our Stars project to fill the need. We donate any extra gifts we recieve to local organizations that are serving families in need. Here's where you come in....we need your help to create wishing star ornaments or decorating gift bags. Gift Bags - you pick up blank bags (or get some blank paper gift bags or bakery bags) and decorate them with holiday drawings and designs. These personalized bags ensure that the families receiving the gifts from the program know that they are getting gifts from our community of caring people, and brining cheer to people in need! Express interest using the button below and we will send you the detailed instructions and you can sign up to pick up supplies. Stars - Use our template to cut out stars from supplies you pick up at our office (or use your own supplies). Decorate the stars and write gift requests on them from our wish list. When done, drop them off at our office, or if you have a business you can display them for your customers/employees. Express interest using the button below and we will send you the detailed instructions and star template and you can sign up to pick up supplies. These stars are displayed at local banks and businesses for members in the community to see specific gift needs of children and families who were not adopted. people pick up the stars, purchase the gift and return them to the bank or business. We will provide volunteers with all the art supplies needed to complete the task. Any supplies you'd like to contribute will be greatly appreciated. The Volunteer Center address to pick up kits and drop off completed projects is 1740 17th Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062 Please note that we have a limitted supply of kits so we do need you to RSVP to pick up a kit. Get Involved... Express Interest For This Opportunity using the button below If you have questions about registering for the project contact Malia at 831-427-5070x117 or email

Santa Cruz, CA

Through 11/29/20

Volunteer at the HGP Holiday Store

About our Holiday Store: Our Holiday Store is where we make a significant amount of our yearly income to support our transitional employment and job training program for folks experiencing homelessness or housing instability. Those who are in the training program make over 40 types of products using materials we grow on the farm, including food products, bath and body products, and dried-flower wreaths. Each holiday season we have a network of over 100 volunteers who support the holiday store. The store is entirely volunteer run, meaning that the profit we make goes directly toward supporting our programs and folks transitioning out of homelessness. This year, to minimize store congestion and maintain adequate social distancing to mitigate COVID-19 transmission risk, HGP is re-introducing store volunteering with limited availability. We will have a maximum capacity of up to 2 total HGP employees/volunteers in the store at any given time, along with up to 4 customers. Our complete store volunteer COVID-19 safety policies can be found on our website ( and should be reviewed prior to volunteering. Interested in volunteering at the Holiday Store? Read info below! Learn about how we're keeping our volunteers safe during COVID-19 here. Customer Service shifts are Monday - Sunday: 10:30am - 1pm, 1pm - 3pm, 3pm-5pm, 5pm-7pm. Volunteering in the store begins Nov. 16th and goes through Dec. 24th. All volunteers must attend one orientation training before their first volunteer shift. Once you attend an orientation, I will add you to our online work scheduler, so you can select the shifts you'd like to work. Sign up to recieve more info here! Orientations will be hosted at the store location, 1338 Pacific Avenue. Orientation schedule is TBD. You only need to attend one orientation. Feel free to forward this on to anyone you know who might also be interested in volunteering at the store, we could use all of the help we can get! Please reach out if you have any questions. Get Involved...Select the Red "Express Interest" button below **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.

Santa Cruz, CA

Through 12/24/20

Holiday Helper for Isolated Seniors

Become a Holiday Helper by giving to the often forgotten care facility residents in Santa Cruz County. It’s the time of the year when our community comes together to ensure that all have a special and memorable holiday season. Most care facilities aren’t allowing visitors due to COVID-19 and residents are feeling especially isolated. Please help us to make the holiday special for our seniors and let them know they are remembered. Holiday Helpers is now accepting donations and wrapped gifts and will do so through December 7, 2020. Gift suggestions include: New lap blankets, scarves, slippers, shirts, socks, adult coloring books, Word Search puzzles, calendars, stuffed animals, lotions, etc. Please mark packages male or female, with sizes, ready for delivery to the care facility residents. It’s nice seeing the smile on their faces when they open up their gifts! Please contact us for drop off information. We are open limited hours due to COVID-19. Donations can also be made through our website and PayPal or mailed to: FSA/I-You Venture at the address below. Thank you for remembering our seniors. We are accepting donations and gifts through Monday, December 7th 2020 Phone: Nancy Cleveland, 831-459-8917, Ext 205 or 831-566-6599 Main Office: 831-423-9444, Ext 200 Email: Web: Address: Family Service Agency of the Central Coast I-You Venture Program 104 Walnut Avenue, Suite 208 Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Get Involved...Select the Red "Express Interest" button below **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.

Santa Cruz, CA

Through 12/7/20

Adopt a Family Holiday Sleigh Drivers Needed

Have you always wanted to be one of Santa's little helper's? Well now is your time to shine! Come help out the Volunteer Center with our Adopt a Family Wishing Star Program! Sleigh drivers are needed to help us pick up gifts at businesses participating in our wishing stars program and deliver them to our Adopt a Family Donation Center so our elves can get wrapping! Volunteers are needed on the following dates (flexible times): ​November 4th, 5th and 6th -- drop off donation packets to businesses (this is not a fundraising ask, all businesses have signed up to participate). Pick up gifts at local businesses and deliver to donation center: December 4th, 5th and 6th (Friday - Sunday) December 11th, 12th and 14th (Friday - Monday) December 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th (Wednesday - Saturday) Deliver gift packages to families (must attend the volunteer training for these shifts) You don't need to have a particularly large vehicle, just a flexible schedule (we can work with you to figure out times!) and lots of holiday cheer! All volunteers need to come into our office to register in person before volunteering. Get Involved...Select the Red "Express Interest" button below:

Watsonville, CA

Through 12/23/20

Adopt a Family Donation Warehouse Elves Needed

Are you looking for an easy way to get into the holiday spirit this year? During this most unprecedented of holidays in the middle of a pandemic, this year may feel a little bit different. You can still be a part of bringing holiday joy to a family in need! Our Adopt a Family program helps over 450 local families have a wonderful Christmas season! We are in need of warehouse elves to help with intake of donations, sorting donations, and making sure that gifts make it into the hands of the agencies that will be delivering holiday packages to families this year. Tasks for outdoor volunteers include: lifting gifts and bringing them from donor cars into the warehouse greeting donors Tasks for indoor volunteers include: labeling or wrapping gifts taking inventory of items donated Due to the pandemic, we are hoping for small groups of 2-6 volunteers who will be able to work in "pods" together (ex. families, roommates, spouses, people who have been isolating together). Individual volunteers are also welcome (you will be able to physically distance while volunteering) We recommend this project for kids over 10 - as it is sometimes difficult for younger kids to spend so much time in the warehouse. We also welcome older adults (65+) for inside volunteering - where you will not be interacting with the public (to mitigate COVID-19 risk). Please Express Interest in your preferred shift below. When you express interest you will be prompted to indicate the number of people in your group and if you prefer indoor or outdoor volunteer shifts.

Watsonville, CA

12/4/20 11:30 AM + more

Toys for Tots: Elves Needed

Toys For Tots - North Pole! alendar Operations at the North Pole will continue the joyous tradition of sorting toys, attaching batteries, bundling books and simply sharing the spirit the season offers. To reduce potential COVID exposure to our precious volunteers and our reliable staff – T4T is not scheduling random Elves for single shifts this year. Elves will begin work the week before Thanksgiving to allow our partnering agencies extra time to quarantine toys, but we’ll finish up the campaign earlier than usual. Volunteers are needed on the following dates: Mon, 11/30 from 3:30 – 8pm Sat 12/12 from 11am - 2pm *Breakdown of site* ​Location: Our Watsonville North Pole. To reduce COVID exposure we're asking volunteers to commit 2 or more shifts; these are the only two shifts left. Please sign-up by emailing our coordinator right away. contact: 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. PLEASE READ THESE SAFETY TIPS FOR VOLUNTEERING DURING THE PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY

Watsonville, CA

Through 12/7/20

Food Distribution in Pajaro

​Friday morning food distribution at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Pajaro. Volunteers are needed to help with handing out bags to people who do not have cars and to help with directing cars on how to enter and exit the parking lot and line up for maximum efficiency. Volunteers who are bilingual in English and Spanish are especially needed - but you do not have to speak Spanish to help. Physical Distancing and Volunteer Safety: If you have your own face mask please bring it Volunteers will be given a facemask if they need it Gloves and safety vest are provided Tables and markers on the ground direct people how to maintain physical distance Most food recipients will stay in their car Please Sign Up below for the day you want to volunteer. PLEASE READ THESE SAFETY TIPS FOR VOLUNTEERING DURING THE PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY

Pajaro, CA

12/4/20 8:30 AM + more

Fairgrounds Mass Food Distribution

Volunteers are needed to help with the mass drive-through food distribution at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds every other Friday. **BILINGUAL SPANISH/ENGLISH SPEAKERS PREFERRED, BUT NOT REQUIRED** 1. Volunteer roles include: directing traffic, taking information from clients, and loading food into cars. 2. Volunteers MUST to be able to stand for long periods of time. 3. Volunteers advised to wear layers and comfy shoes. 4. Volunteers REQUIRED to cover their mouth and nose at all times. 5. Social distancing is encouraged, but it may not be possible to maintain 6 feet distance at all times due to the nature of the information intake being performed. PLEASE REVIEW THE COVID 19 POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR SECOND HARVEST FOOD BANK Click the red button below to sign up!

Watsonville, CA

12/11/20 8:00 AM

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

Through 2/1/21

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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