As we head into the heart of the Holiday Season, we encourage you to reach beyond your normal holiday celebrations and create new traditions for yourself and your family through volunteering. The Volunteer Center maintains an on-line listing of Holiday Volunteer Opportunities on our website to help you get connected: VIEW The Guide
If it is difficult to find time to participate in a scheduled service project, consider these small acts to make the holidays a little bit brighter for someone less fortunate.
- Deck the Halls - Offer to decorate a nursing home, assisted living or rehabilitation center for the holidays.
- Grant A Wish - Contact a local organization that is hosting a "Wish Tree" and purchase a gift from the tree. The Volunteer Centers Adopt A Family program has "wishes" at the following businesses: Wells Fargo Banks in Santa Cruz, Capitola, Aptos, an Freedom, The Nickelodean in Santa Cruz and Aptos, The Del Mar Downtown, and Santa Cruz County Bank in Aptos and Watsonville.
- Shop - Next time you visit the grocery store, pick up extra canned goods or holiday meal items to donate to Second Harvest Food Bank. Collection bins are available throughout the county.
- Support Utility Payment Assistance - Many families need extra help to keep lights and heat on during the cold winter months. Donate to a local agency that assists with utility payment needs such as Valley Churches United Mission www.vcum.org
- Bake Treats - Make a batch of your favorite holiday goodies for a local organization serving community meals. The following organizations will take home baked goods- Santa Cruz Vets Hall, Mariposa Wellness Center, and Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes.
- Donate. Make a monetary donation to help a charitable organization make ends meet this year. Santa Cruz County has over 1000 agencies providing safety net services to our community. Browse our list of over 200 organizations
- Commit to Serve - Make your New Year's Resolution a goal to serve a specific number of hours or participate in a certain number of projects with a local organization in 2010. Contact the Volunteer Center and we will help you get started. Call us at 427-5070 or visit our volunteer opportunities website
Blog inspired by the HandsOn Network