'Tis the season of giving and many non-profits and some local businesses are hoping to receive donations from the community to help make less fortunate Santa Cruz residents' holidays a little bit better.
It’s not too late to contribute to individuals and families in need now and throughout the New Year. Donating gently used items or by volunteering time and services to organizations bent on helping the quality of life for the homeless and those in need of services in Santa Cruz is an excellent way to give without digging into your pocketbook.
The following nonprofit organizations and projects in Santa Cruz are in constant need of supplies at all times.
The of Santa Cruz located at 108 High Street in Santa Cruz, is a home for women experiencing crisis pregnancy and provides a safe place for pregnant women or women with infants.
"We rely on people who can come in and volunteer their time and do whatever needs to be done such as holding a baby for long periods, driving someone to a Dr.’s appointment or helping with chores in the home, says executive director Sharon Rudell.
We can always use diapers and most importantly, laptops that are in good condition. Computers would help enable the women to get skills for finding work, completing their (general equivalency diploma) GED, and taking online courses. Gently used cameras for new moms to take pictures with are also needed.
There is also a dire need to find places for mothers and infants to go once they must move on after a certain period of time, says Rudell. Anyone willing to rent an affordable room can contact Rudell at firstname.lastname@example.org
holiday book drive asks that the community contribute to the education foundation and the Pajaro Valley Unified School District by purchasing gift cards and books from school’s wish lists to provide much needed books for school libraries and wish lists. All books purchased for the book drive through December 31 are 20 percent off.
“Overall, it’s a really cool program, we like doing it, we
have a really great community,” says Georgine ‘George’ Balassone, Bookshop supervisor and employee for about 27 years.
is one of many churches in the Santa
Cruz area that asks for donations and services from the community to help individuals in need year round. Tim Anderson, director of facilities at SCBC says that food donations can be made to the church and entire meals for families can be distributed through the direction of the care team at SCBC.
is another great place to help
out those in hard times and can do so by volunteering in their kitchen. Director Richard Crowe says help is needed all year round.
The holiday store is in immense need of
individuals willing to volunteer their time and skills making items such as succulent and dry herb wreaths, herb biscuits and lavender shortbread to be sold in their store located at 110 Cooper Street and Pacific Avenue through December 24.
Proceeds help benefit the homeless garden project training
programs that teach people farming skills and earn money to help keep them off the streets, says Tamara Cucchiara, manager of women’s organic flower enterprise and the homeless garden project retail store.
The HGP is normally located throughout the rest of the year at 30 West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz. Please contact Tamara for volunteer opportunities at email@example.com
Monetary donations are always welcome to non-profits such as
the Homeless Services Center of Santa Cruz .
The Elm Street Mission located at 117 Elm Street provides meals for the homeless on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays throughout the year. Volunteers may simply show up at 4:30pm on those days and plan to stay until 7pm or contact Jeff at 831-420-0543.
Feeding the Spirit also will be serving Christmas meals to the homeless on December 24th and 25th at 115 Coral Street and New Years meals on December 31st and January 1st.To get involved with set up and meal service, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Connection Santa Cruz in partnership with the Second Harvest food bank will hold its annual Christmas Party on Thursday, December 22 between 11am and 1pm at 300 Harvey West Blvd. Cooks are needed to prepare dishes at home and then drop them off before 10 am on December 22 or may be prepared in the Harvey West kitchen between 7-10:30am on the morning of the event.
Party planners are also needed to help transform the location into a winter wonderland. The pre-party set up will include hanging decorations, setting up tables, preparing food trays and other odd jobs. To volunteer, contact Cecile Bitanga at 831-425-8132, extension 219 or email: email@example.com
Finally, don’t forget our four legged friends by donating to the .