Featured Events

Mad Hatters - Knitting for newborns

Sponsored by Amy Hyler-Essig of Information Technology Services (ITS).

I am hoping to gather a team of knitters who can, working together, knit 50 (or more!) hats to donate to the Mad Hatters, an organization that distributes handmade hats to newborns in local hospitals.

If you would be interested in volunteering your time and helping out your community, please visit the 50for50 portal page, sign up, and then let me know that you'd like to join the team that's making knit baby hats! The Mad Hatters newborn hat pattern is here. They are kind of strict about the pattern/construction of the hats, but feel free to use whatever colors, designs, pom-pons, etc. you'd like to make them more fun. I've attached a picture of a hat completed with their basic pattern, using a variegated yarn and with a pom-pon on top, just so you have an idea of what you're going for. Completed hats can be delivered/brought/sent/etc. to me in my office, Kerr 54 for delivery to the Mad Hatters organization. 

The great part of working as a team is that we can work together to reach the goal

Please feel free to share this opportunity with other knitters that you know who might be interested.

Amy Hyler-Essig
ITS Support Center
Kerr Hall, Room 54 (Mailstop: ITS Kerr)
(831) 459-1427

knitted hat

You can sign up for these projects and many more at:

You can sign up for these projects and many more at:


Run For Pie, fundraiser for 2nd Harvest Food Bank, Thanksgiving Day Nov. 26

The Fourth Annual Run for Pie starts at the bottom of the hill in Aptos Village park, the course will climb up to Aptos Creek Road and head into Nisene Marks State Park for a 5k or 10k out and back.  Volunteers are needed to assist with course set-up, registration and  the two aid stations along the course.

To Volunteer: contact Matthew Andrews at or 209-605-4812 or visit the website:

Resurrection Church Thanksgiving Dinner                                                             November 26th

We are hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for anyone who wishes to come and help provide great food and a whole bunch of joy to our community! 
Volunteers are needed:
Nov. 26th 8:00am-1:00pm for food preperation, cooking, set up, and decoration
Nov. 26th 2:00pm- 3:00pm to help clean up
Volunteers are encouraged to sit and enjoy a hearty meal with the community from 1:00pm-2:00pm!

Please contact Patrick:, (831) 840-3750

BOULDER CREEK                                                                                                                       

Camping Unlimited Holiday Weekend For Disabled People                                                Dec. 18 - 20

Camping unlimited is seeking adult volunteers to assist with a fun Holiday Camping Trip for developmentally disabled children and adults. Volunteers will spend the night at Camp Krem in Boulder Creek, 15 minutes from Santa Cruz, and assist campers with their needs. Volunteers will help offer an array of activities including arts/crafts, music, dance, games, hiking, tree trimming, a visit from Santa and more. Volunteers should be mature, friendly and patient folks who can commit to a full weekend shift from 9am on Saturday through 4pm Sunday. Background check required.   

To volunteer contact Gail: email:,


Toys for Tots:                                                                                                             November 21st 

Warehouse Setup - Volunteers are needed on two fronts: we need drivers (especially with trucks and SUVs) to help transport items from various vendors to the Watsonville warehouse, and Elves to help stage the warehouse, set up sorting areas, and prep for the day’s deliveries.

For additional Toys for Tots opportunities contact: Delilah Valadez,

Adopt A Family Holiday Sleigh Drivers Wanted                                               Dec. 12th-13th                                                          Help play Santa for 400 families in need across Santa Cruz County. Volunteers needed to help drive toys from local businesses throughout the county to the Watsonville Warehouse (30 E 5th Street) and the Santa Cruz Volunteer Center in Live Oak (1740 17th Ave). Volunteers are welcome to make one or more trips and will need to use their own vehicles. To Volunteer as a driver, contact Spencer at 831.427.5070 or write to

Meals on Wheels: Create Holiday Cards         Ongoing unjtil Dec. 21st  Meals on Wheels is looking for some creative children or adults to make secular holiday cards for senior citizens this year. If you love to express yourself through art and also would love to bring a little cheer to someone’s holiday meal then you'd be perfect for this opportunity. Make homemade cards or placemats for Thanksgiving or Christmas, 30-40 cards are needed and can be created on your own time. Please DO NOT use glitter.

All cards need to be dropped off at the Meals on Wheels by Nov. 23rd for Thanksgiving and Dec. 21st for Holiday Cards.

For more information contact Bonnie at 831-464-3180 x 103 or at



Holiday Food Distribution                                                                           Tuesdays November- January

The Davenport Resource Service Center is looking for volunteers to help with food distribution in the low income community of Davenport. Volunteers are needed to assist with setting up tables, unloading trucks, restocking as needed, helping clients sign in/out, and socializing with the community. The food distribution program occurs on the 2nd and 3rd Tuesday of every month.
We need a reliable volunteer to help us between 11am and 4pm on 11/17, 12/08, 12/15, 01/12.

For more information, contact Mildred,, (831) 425-8115


Grey Bears Chef for a Day                                                                                        Ongoing Opportunity

Grey Bears is seeking volunteers who love to cook and create delicious meals! Volunteers are needed to work as the chef of the day, a position that involves taking charge of the kitchen, working with and directing a number of other volunteers. We need people to chop vegetables, make salads, and follow the chef’s general instructions. Volunteers are needed 8:00am-12:00pm Monday-Friday, and we are more than happy to work around your schedule. Work for three hours, and take a grocery bag packed with food home with you!


To Volunteer: contact Tess Woods at 831. 479.1055


Homeless Garden Project Gift Shop                                                              Throughout November               Gift Shop Staffers: The Homeless Garden Project is looking for volunteers to help at the gift shop. Volunteers will greet/help customers, wrap gifts, restock items, and operate the cash.  Volunteers are also needed to greet on Pacific Avenue to bring customers into the store. All proceeds from the store will benefit the Homeless Garden Project training programs. Volunteer training will be November 10th and 12th, 5:30-6:30pm. On November 16th, we will have extended holiday hours; the store will be open 7 dyas a week, with shifts available between 10:00am-8:00pm.

 To Volunteer Contact Jes,,  (831) 426-3609 x10



Selling Holiday UNICEF Cards                                                             November 15th to December 27th

The United Nations are needed to staff the UNA store, giving out information on the UN and selling nunicef cards and gifts from around the world. The funds go to UNICEF and the United Nations International Children’s Fund which supplies relief around the world. Volunteers are needed to serve one three hour shift a week  from 11 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. this is the UNA store’s busy season—christmas cards—and they need a lot of volunteers to fill in vacancies. For more information,

Contact Pat Arnold at 831-425-7618


Cook a warm Meal at St. Francis Soup Kitchen                                                             November 16th

Each day a hearty meal of soup, salad, bread, coffee, and milk are served to over 180 people at noon at the St. Francis Soup Kitchen. We have been serving meals to the hungry in Santa Cruz for over 25 years! Please join us by volunteering in our kitchen, where we can accommodate up to four volunteers daily. No special experience is required aside from a desire to work in the kitchen. We begin cooking at 8:00 AM and finish serving the meal at 1:45 PM.


To volunteer call Richard Crowe at: (831) 459-6712


Thanksgiving Dinner at the Santa Cruz Vets Hall                            Nov 26th, 9:00 pm to 4:00 pm

We are hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for anyone who wishes to come and enjoy live music, great food, and whole bunch of joy! There is so much that goes into the preparation of this event. So many people come to volunteer and to donate. You are invited to donate, volunteer or come and enjoy the food and festivities. 
The event takes place at the Santa Cruz Vets Hall in Downtown Santa Cruz – volunteer for a 3 or 4 hour shift.

To Volunteer: email Steve at


Toy Train Conductor at the MAH                                                           December 4th to December 28th

 The Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History wil be exhibiting a large, interactive toy train model to engage with local families and train enthusisasts. All aboard! Help the Train Gang to operate our annual Toy Train model. Taking up almost the entire ground floor, this is a well attended annual event hundreds and hundreds of children and adults play with toy trains at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. Volunteers are expected to commit to at least three three hour shifts as part of their commitment. Come be apart of a wonderful Santa Cruz tradition!


For more info, contact Diana Kapsner at 831-429-1964 ext 7010 or email


Adopt A Family Hotline Volunteer                                                                        November 18 –December 9th

The Santa Cruz Volunteer Center is looking for volunteers to help match donors with families in need of food and gifts when donors call the hotline. As a hotline volunteer, you will review family profiles, assist with sending family wishlists to donors, and track adoptions in the fatabase. Volunteers should be personable, detail oriented, and enthusiastic about this position. Volunteers are needed on:

Wednesdays from 10am to 1pm from Nov. 18th to Dec. 9th. Time commitment is 3-hours shift per week.


For more information contact Spencer Takata at (831) 427-5070 x115



Winter Shelter Help                                                                                                                         Ongoing  

During the winter, the Homeless Services Center will be serving an extra hundred people as an emergency shelter. We will be trying to provide a safe and dry place to sleep, shower, and eat for those who need it. Please come help us facilitate these services! We are open 7 days a week. Volunteers usually take a 4-hour shift between 8am and 4pm. We are looking for people with a kind heart and willing hands! Help uplift your community and give shelter to others these holidays!

For more information, contact Vrinda,, (831) 458-6020 x1102

Annual Holiday Gala                                                                                                                         Nov 19th

We are looking for friendly and outgoing volunteers to join us at Dominican Hospital Foundation's annual Holidays d'Eleganz benefit at Cocoanut Grove! There will be dancing and excellent food. Volunteers are provided with food and beverages during their shifts. 100% of the event's proceeds will go towards the Healing Courtyards Initiative, which aims to transform our outdoor courtyards into soothing environments for patients that will minimize stress and promote healing. Duties will include:

  • decorating/set-up for the Luncheon on Friday afternoon and Gala on Saturday night
  • greeting guests/ coat check


  • Thursday, November 19th 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Friday, November 20th 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
  • Saturday, November 21st 12:00 - 11:00 PM

For more information, contact Anastasia,, (831) 462-7712

Walnut Avenue Family & Women’s Center Turkey Drive                                                           Nov 21st

Come out to Walnut Avenue Family & Women's Center for National Family Volunteer Day and decorate Thanksgiving treats for our annual Turkey Drive! Treats will be packaged and distributed with Thanksgiving dinners to families in need on Saturday, November 21st from 10:30am to 12pm at 303 Walnut Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. This activity is kid-friendly and lots of fun, all ages welcome with a parent or guardian.


Contact Hannah, (831) 426-3062 x 211,



Gift and Wreath Sale                                                                                                                      Nov 21st      The date is set, the wreathes are made, now we just need your help to make our upcoming Gift & Wreath Sale a huge success! We currently need volunteers to help out with parking, tallying, monitoring merchandise, and cleanup.  There are morning (8:30-11), midday (11-1), and afternoon (1-4) shifts available for both days, and a later cleanup shift (4-6) just on Sunday.

Contact Maura at


Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes Holiday Meal Team                                     Nov 26th, Dec 25th

Loaves and Fishes is looking for a group to take over for us on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day! We would like a group, or individuals, to come and prepare and serve a meal on those two days. Volunteers with a number of skills are needed, including kitchen experience, food service, organization, computer skills, and management skills. In particular, we are in need of:

1)    Lead Cook: an individual with experience as a cook and also has a willingness to lead a kitchen crew of volunteers

2)    Pantry Distributor: individual responsible for distributing groceries to families and working with a few other volunteers to organize food packages (requires conversational Spanish and computer skills).

3)    Pantry Assistant/Roaming Coordinator: Individual who will assist with distribution of food in the pantry, as well as kitchen assistance if and as needed.

To volunteer contact: Colleen,, (831) 722-4144

Adopt A Family Warehouse Elves                                                                                    Dec 9th-16th                                             WAREHOUSE: The Santa Cruz Volunteer Center is seeking Warehouse Volunteers for the Adopt a Family Holiday Project. AAF works to provide much needed clothes, toys, and food to over 450 families in need throughout Santa Cruz County. As warehouse elves, you can assist with intake of gifts, gift-wrapping, organizing, and distributing gifts to agencies. Available Shifts:

  • December 9th, 9am-12pm and 12pm-2pm (2 shifts)- set up
  • December 10th, 4-6pm, sorting/organizing toys
  • December 11th, 12-4pm and 3-7pm, wrapping/assembling gift packages for families
  • December 12th, 9am-12pm, 12pm-3pm, 2pm-5pm (3 shifts), wrapping/assembling packages, help with receiving donations
  • December 13th, 9am-12pm, 12pm-3pm, 2pm-5pm (3 shifts), wrapping/assembling packages, help with receiving donations
  • December 14th, 12-3pm and 3pm-6pm (2 shifts), wrapping/organizing gift bags  
  • December 15th, 9am-1pm, wrapping/organizing gift bags
  • December 16th, 9am-12pm and 12pm to 4pm (2 shifts). Loading bags for agency pick ups (volunteers must be able to handle some lifting)

To volunteer, call Donna Patters at 831.722.6708 or write to

Adopt A Family Hotline Volunteer                                                                        November 18 –December 9th

The Santa Cruz Volunteer Center is looking for volunteers to help match donors with families in need of food and gifts when donors call the hotline. As a hotline volunteer, you will review family profiles, assist with sending family wishlists to donors, and track adoptions in the fatabase. Volunteers should be personable, detail oriented, and enthusiastic about this position. Volunteers are needed on:

Monday – Friday, time commitment is 3-hours shift per week.


For more information contact Donna Patters at, (831) 722-6708





Adopt A Family Tech Support                                                                                           Nov 4th-Dec 11th

The Adopt a Family program is looking for volunteers to offer techical support with our databases. Volunteer duties will include entering family adoption information into our databases to keep track of adoptions, entering this year's donor information, and indicating which families have been adopted. Additionally, volunteers can connect with previous donors to encourage them to adopt again and organize paperwork to take to the warehouse.


Contact: Spencer at or via phone 831.427.5070


Thanksgiving One Day Early                                                                                                Nov 25th      

Celebrate on November 25th with the Santa Cruz County Mental Health Services by cooking, serving or cleaning up lunch! Every year we put on a big Thanksgiving celebration for mental health clients and their families at the Veteran's Memorial Building in Watsonville.

Volunteer Shifts:

9:30 am to 11:30 am - Cook mashed potatoes and stuffing

10:30 am to 2:30pm - Serving lunch or washing dishes

2:00om to 3:30pm - Putting away tables and cleaning up

*All volunteers are invited to enjoy lunch with us.

For more information, contact Asayo, (831) 763-8279,



Senior Administrator Food Bank Service Day

On a cold and rainy December morning, a score of UCSC campus leaders including Chancellor George Blumenthal, Executive Vice Chancellor, Allison Galloway and Associate Chancellor Ashish Sahni along with a host of directors made their way to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz country to volunteer on this global giving Tuesday, 2014.

Admin Team

Arranged and coordinated by Executive Assistant to the Chancellor, Margaret McGuire, the team spent the morning arranging, sorting, and packaging produce for healthy meals for our friends and neighbors in need in Santa Cruz County.  Amongst the requirements for the workday were closed toe shoes and a sweater.  It is reasonably cool in the distribution warehouse, with a lot of fast moving pieces.

The work was very physical, but everyone on the team enjoyed the experience and we’re excited to do it again.  It was inspirational to see and work along side our campus leaders elbow deep in cabbage and carrots on the front line volunteering to support our community. Over sixty percent of the meals Second Harvest delivers are in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Second Harvest depends on volunteers to make it all happen.  ….   You can make a difference in your community by volunteering at the food bank. Visit or to find out how and where to volunteer.

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