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10AM-NOON 10AM-NOON give back this earth day volunteer at a save our shores cleanup saveourshores.org/earth-day Saturday APRIL 22 RANCHO MORO COJO PARK DEL MONTE CITY BEACH ASILOMAR STATE BEACH CARMEL RIVER STATE BEACH RANCHO MORO COJO PARK MONTEREY COUNTY PANTHER STATE BEACH NATURAL BRIDGES STATE BEACH COWELL & MAIN BEACH SAN LORENZO RIVER SUNNY COVE BEACH HIDDEN BEACH PANTHER STATE BEACH SANTA CRUZ COUNTY L ocal residents are invited to join the Vol- unteer Center of Santa Cruz County, fellow non-profits, and com- munity leaders in cel- ebrating volunteerism during National Volunteer Week, hap- pening April 23-29th, 2017. Widely celebrated across the country, Na- tional Volunteer Week was established in 1974 to demonstrate the power of volunteerism to bring people togeth- er for positive change. Each year during Na- tional Volunteer Week, the Volunteer Center and partners host events including appre- ciation parties, recog- nitions, and volunteer projects all with the goal of highlighting the tremendous amount of work completed by local volunteers. _is year's National Volunteer Week is one of particular signifi- cance for the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County as 2017 marks their 50th Anniversary of service in the com- munity. _e Volunteer Cen- ter opened it's doors in 1967 when Marian McBee, Kathryn Mer- riam, and Margaret Schaeffer, three local social workers inspired by their passion for helping others, set up shop at a loaned office space in downtown Santa Cruz to develop volunteer programs designed to liZ up resi- dents in need. Within a year, they hired a staff member and developed a mentoring program for boys in need of male role models, a tutoring program for adults who spoke no English, a jail visitation program, and 2 pro- grams addressing the needs of home-bound seniors. What started as a few volunteers has now grown into 4 facilities county-wide, 16 pro- grams, and over 12,000 volunteers who annu- ally partner with 9,000 residents in need. "Together, our founders launched a powerful movement of local people work- ing together to solve local problems. In our 50 year history more than 200,000 people have step through our doors with a desire to transform our com- munity for good," states Delaney. "We are so proud to launch six months of celebration, reflec- tion and renewal to honor the legacy and accomplishments of the thousands of volunteers who are part of this movement. Given the focus of National Vol- unteer Week, it seemed like the perfect week to kick off our 50th celebrations," continues Delaney. Over the last 50 years the Volunteer Center has recognized a steady growth in volunteerism in Santa Cruz County, regard- less of political or financial climate, indi- viduals have found a way to remain engaged in their communities. "Given the great di- visions we are currently seeing, it is refreshing to look around and appreciate how many wonderful things are happening right now because of volunteers. Ultimately if given the right tools and the opportunity, people want to make a differ- ence and they are quite effective at it," states Delaney. "At the heart of every community there are those who take action to make it work. Because of volunteers in Santa Cruz County we have a vibrant art life, hula shows on the wharf, clean beaches, free and fair elections, recreation programs, school gardens and tutors, and the list just goes on," continues Delaney. Santa Cruz County volunteers are part of a national movement of more than 62 mil- lion individuals who annually step up to volunteer in their local communities. "Dedicated volun- teers are the backbone of so many communi- ties across the coun- try. As the Executive Director of the Volun- teer Center for over 30 years, I feel so fortunate that I have had the opportunity to witness acts of kindness carried out by everyday people nearly every day of my job. Our community volunteer volunteer Center launches 50th Anniversary Celebrations During national volunteer Week National Volunteer Week is April 23 - April 29 County Bank - Founder Marian McBee receiving a financial contribution from Santa Cruz County Bank to support the work of the Volunteer Center. Photo Contributed

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