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SCS Volunteer Section 2022

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A Special Santa Cruz Sentinal Advertorial Supplement April 16, 2022 BECOME A VOLUNTEER TODAY! Meals on Wheels volunteers keep our wheels turning. Without the commitment and dedication of our volunteers, we would not be able to deliver thousands of meals to Santa Cruz County seniors. CommunityBridges.org/Volunteer April is a season of renewal. Some religious faiths experience this renewal as a period of deprivation before coming together in celebration. Spring brings a new sea- son of growth. It's appropriate that April is the month set aside to honor the work of volun- teers in our community. For Community Bridges, it's also an opportunity to ask our community to help renew the corp of volunteers that propels the work we do. We've asked a lot of our volunteers through the pandemic. Over the past two years, Santa Cruz County residents donated XXX hours to the ten programs we operate. Volunteers have helped nonprofits navigate the sudden transition to vir- tual services, many extra hands turned up to food distribution sites to help organize drive through pickups, they've staffed special shelters and evacuation centers during disasters. At every step supporters across our organization have helped with fund- raisers, meal delivery, food pantries, and emer- gency disaster response. But the work continues, even as those volunteers move into new 'seasons' of their own lives – some- times taking them away Community Bridges Calls for a Month of Service from us. Thankfully volunteerism is a renewable resource. As one group of vol- unteers drifts into new chapters of their lives, other Santa Cruz County residents are retiring from jobs and looking for new ways to engage with their community. New college students are moving to the area and looking for ways to get involved. Young families are settling here and looking for ways to teach their children about their community. Community Bridges is calling on Santa Cruz County residents to find one organization to which they can commit just a few hours of time this month. Anyone can be a volun- teer. From its Latin roots to its modern day etymology the word "volunteer," or "voluntarius" in Latin, has consistently referred to a person's "willingness." The verb meant "of one's own choice" in its first usage. There's tremendous agency in the word "volunteer" and in the act of volunteering. It rarely fails to be an act of empowerment both for the person making the choice and taking action and for those who may be helped by their service. The best way to honor the volunteer service of others is by being one yourself. Join us. By Raymon Cancino, CEO, Community Bridges Longtime volunteer Mar- cia Meyer once quipped, "Grey Bears repurposes retirees into volunteers." A deeper truth in her witty observation is how volunteering later in life can be a second act, where we discover how much serving others improves and enriches our own life. "We all want to feel needed," says Grey Bears volunteer, Vinita Fernandes. "Doing and helping, and taking care of each other are central to my Catholic faith. And I'm always open to grow- ing and improving." Born in Bombay, India, Vinita witnessed extreme poverty growing up. She came to Boca Raton, Flor- ida to pursue a Master's degree and was fortunate to live with her grandpar- ents. "I learned so much from my family, their val- ues of helping out around the community and the wisdom that comes with aging. Oh, and how to cook really good food," she says with a smile. After completing her MBA she worked in Volunteering at Grey Bears is"good medicine" By Greybears Continue on page 2 Provided photo

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