Friday, November 03, 2006

Talk back: SHADYA

Another wonderful Community Cinema event. We were blessed to have Jamie Zimron, founding director of the Salaam Shalom Middle East Aikido Peace Project to begin the evening with a very special presentation on her work in building peace and cross-cultural dialogue through the art of Aikido. The short film she shared on the Training Across Borders workshops in Cyprus was a beautiful and inspiring introduction to “Shadya.” Virtually our entire audience stayed for the discussion following the film.

As always, we'd hate for it to end there. Here is another opportunity for you to respond to the film. Use the "comments" link below to post questions, share insights and/or ideas of how to get involved. After all, Community Cinema is more than just a film forum; it is a tool for civic engagement! Here are some questions to start you off...

Shadya says, "I think I'm in the middle: Palestinian, Israeli - who am I? Israel is my country. Palestinians are Arabs. I 'm also Arab, so where does that put me?" How would you answer her? Do you have conflicting identities? What role do your ethnic, religious and national identities play in who you are and how you lead your life?

Shadya's father, Mazen, says, "People have reached the moon. You think there's a difference between Muslims, Christians and Jews? We're all the same." His sons disagree. If you were part of the conversation, what would you have said?

Jamie Zimron in her presentation spoke of Aikido as a natural tool for peace. What other kinds of things work as successful tools for bringing conflicting groups together? Music, art, community service projects? Please share your experiences...

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Talk back: The World According to Sesame Street

This was our very first event with ITVS Community Cinema. We could not have asked for a better kickoff. Turn out was high and we had a fabulous panel representing the fields of children’s rights and cross-cultural and peace education.

The discussion was so wonderful, we'd hate for it to end there. Here is another opportunity for you and the rest of San Diego community to respond to the film. Use the "comments" link below to post questions, share insights and/or ideas of how to get involved. After all, Community Cinema is more than just a film forum; it is a tool for civic engagement!

Here are some questions to start you off...

In the film, Anu Gupta of Sesame Workshop says: “Children are not born haters…They are taught to hate. I think some of the values we teach are universal values.” What do you think these universal values are? What can you do in your daily life to promote such values?

Perhaps you watched Sesame Street growing up-or have children who did. If so, what impact did the show have on your or your children’s lives? How can a television program like Sesame Street improve understanding, especially between groups in conflict? How would you describe the power of television? What are its limitations?

Why did some on the South African team believe that it was important to address AIDS? Why would that decision have been difficult for U.S. producers? If you had been part of the production team, would you have supported the decision to create a Muppet with HIV? Why or why not?

Read more!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

The month of October has been dedicated to appreciating the accomplishments of individuals with disabilities, and raising awareness for equal employment opportunities. Adults with disabilities are an important part of the workforce, but the fight for equality continues. Read more:

On a similar note, a goal of Volunteer San Diego is to increase the participation of adults with disabilities in volunteer opportunities. Volunteering can give individuals a chance to give back to the community, gain professional skills, and meet new people. It is important that these opportunities are available to diverse groups of people. We are currently recruiting adults and veterans with disabilities to volunteer for DOORS (Disability Outreach Offering Resources through Services). The goal of this program is to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities through volunteer opportunities that promote financial empowerment. We are working with credit unions, career centers, and other local organizations to provide these opportunities.

Volunteer positions will include: tax preparers, greeters, site coordinators, translators, administrative assistants, data collectors and more. If you want to help, we will find a position for you!

Would you like to participate? Want to become a volunteer? Or do you belong to an organization that may have a volunteer opportunity or need in areas such as financial literacy, homeowner education, tutoring, or GED classes?

Contact: Stephanie Taube, Asset Development Coordinator, 858-636-4125,

For more information on issues related to people with disabilities, here are some great resources:

Read more!

Monday, October 16, 2006

A Service-Learning Opportunity - SB 638 Signed, Calif. Afterschool Programs Boosted

Governor Signs Torlakson Bill, SB 638

With little fanfare, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today signed SB 638 (Torlakson). This bill will dramatically change the administration of the state's After School Education and Safety (ASES) program, boosting funding from $122 million to $550 million, increasing the daily per-child rate and the grant caps, and allowing for direct grants instead of reimbursement, among other changes. This signing will signal the California Department of Education to open the application process for the funds. All public elementary and middle/junior high schools are eligible to apply for the grant.

The application process will be open for six weeks after applications are released, with award letters expected to follow in the late fall. Currently funded ASES grantees will not have to reapply unless they plan on opening new programs in addition to those already funded.

Local education agencies (LEA), school districts, cities or counties are qualified to apply. Non-profit, community-based programs can also participate in partnership and with approval of the LEA. Afterschool programs considering this funding are encouraged to work with their local school district to apply as soon as is practical, as the Department of Education anticipates a heavy volume of funding requests.

Volunteer San Diego's Service-Learning Trainiers can help with these grant submissions. We also provide a range of trainings and techincal assistance options.

For more CDE information: click here

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Disaster Response Training Open to All

On Wednesday November 8th at 6pm in the United Way Building, we will be holding a training session for anyone interested in our disaster response program. No orientation or previous experience is necessary. A brief introduction to our program will begin the training, followed by a guided, hands-on approach to learning our system of processing volunteers in the event of a disaster.

We are looking for a cadre of highly motivated volunteers who will receive training in VSD’s systems and techniques for processing spontaneous volunteers in the hours and days following a disaster. Volunteers will be encouraged to develop ideas for improving our operations and will become key members of our response team. This is a great opportunity to make a difference in your community, learn new skills, tap into your creativity, and make new friends! Bilingual volunteers are especially welcome. For more information contact Colby: or by phone, 858-636-4132.
Or Sign up Now!

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Poll Workers Needed for November 7th Election

The Registrar of Voters still needs poll workers for the fast approaching November 7th Election. People serve their country and community in a lot of different ways, but this is one opportunity to serve that doesn’t come around very often but goes to the very heart of the democratic process. Additionally, workers receive a stipend ranging between $75 and $125 with an additional $15 for workers bilingual in Filipino, Vietnamese, or Spanish. We especially need workers comfortable with technology as we transition to full deployment of the touchscreens. You must be a registered voter and attend a 4 hour training which is offered days, evenings, and weekends. For more information please call (858)565-5800, visit the website at or email

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Monday, October 02, 2006

Check Out the New VSD Podcast

We have recently launched the Volunteer San Diego Podcast. A podcast is a set of media files typically distributed by a syndication feed from the internet. Our podcast is an episodic audio program that highlights volunteer opportunities and events from Volunteer San Diego. Various podcatchers, such as Apple iTunes, Yahoo! Music, and Google, provide a way to deliver new episodes to your computer every time they are available. The podcasts are free to download from any one of the podcatchers or through the web site. You can listen to the podcasts either on your computer or on your MP3 player.

New episodes of our podcast will be available at least twice monthly. Each show is less than ten minutes long. In past shows, we have featured some of the Volunteer San Diego staff, team leaders, and volunteers from Mira Mesa Homework Helpers, Hands On San Diego projects, and Kid's Night Out at Casey's Place. You can listen to individual episodes or subscribe through various podcatchers at our podcast page --

Thanks to VSD volunteer and board member, Brent Shintani, for creating these podcasts!

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Join Us September 17th and 23rd!

Individuals, families and small groups often find our "Signature Events" are the perfect way to get involved because all you need to do is sign-up and show up! Volunteer San Diego will have all the project supplies ready and waiting for you, along with refreshments and free t-shirts.

Sign up now on our website for any of the following events:

SUNDAY, September 17th:

Mission Bay Youth Fields in San Diego - new location

Casey's Place in San Carlos
(special project here for volunteers ages 5-13)

SATURDAY, September 23rd:

Mission Bay Park in San Diego
(special project here for volunteers ages 5-13)

North Santa Fe Corridor in Vista

For more information click on the Projects above or click here

If you can't attend any of our projects, or even if you can and want to give even more, make a donation in recognition of all volunteers. If you are a volunteer you can even ask friends and family to sponsor your volunteering activities. Money raised for Hands On San Diego covers event supplies and materials and supports Volunteer San Diego’s year-round volunteer programs. Each day, Volunteer San Diego volunteers are out making a difference in their community, touching the lives of hundreds of families, children, seniors, and entire neighborhoods in need.

Imagine how much we could accomplish if 2,000 Hands On San Diego volunteers each raised just $20 Then, imagine if those who could, raised a little more...

$10 each – 1,390 abandoned animals could be cared for
$20 – 2,970 youth could be coached, tutored at libraries, and cared for at shelters
$50 – 3,678 seniors could have organized activities and someone to spend time with
$100 – 34,396 people could receive a hot meal served with a smile and compassion
$1000 – the possibilities are limitless...

For more information on how to make a donation click here

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Disaster Response Orientation Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

An Orientation to Disaster Response and Our Response Team

Wednesday, September 27th, from 6p.m. to 7p.m., we will be convening in Room 100 of the United Way Building (4699 Murphy Canyon Rd.) to give an introduction to Volunteer San Diego's Disaster Response Program.

Interested individuals should register on our website ( by clicking on Orientations and Training and search or browse for Disaster Response.

For questions or additional information contact Colby Pacheco or call 858-636-4132.

Read more!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Stories of Service Popcorn Premier and Orientation Sunday, August 27th, 2006

A viewing of our recently produced stories and

preview of the process and commitment

Sunday, August 27th, from 1:00 to 2:30 pm, we will be convening upstairs in the hall at the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center at beautiful Balboa Park to celebrate our newly produced stories from San Diego and preview the program to new participants.

We will begin with a showing of several Stories of Service and end with an overview of the program and acceptance of applications and agreements. Here is the additional agenda:

Why Stories of Service? What is a digital story?

How to create a digital story?

What is the commitment? Fill out applications.

Please click here to see the event flyer.

If you would like additional information, or would like to RSVP for the event, please contact Jon Baird at 858.636.4125 or

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Help Young Audiences of San Diego - volunteer

Help Young Audiences of San Diego raise funds for arts education programs for San Diego schools
by volunteering at our fun Summer Salsa fundraiser!

Details of the Event:

This year the event will be held at the beautiful McMillin Event Center at NTC Foundation on Saturday, August 26, from 7 - 10 PM. Summer Salsa 2006 will feature salsa instruction, live music, dancing, food, and drink. We are looking for volunteers to help on the day of the event as well as in the preparation.

All volunteers will receive a free entrance to the event and will be partnered for each volunteer activity so you too can join in on the fun!

Here's How you can help:

Set up for the event (all ages welcome!)
Greeting guests at the check in table (14 years or older)
Serving Alcohol (21 or older)
Selling Raffle Tickets (18 or older)
Manning the Silent Auction Tables (18 or older)
Manning the dinner tables (14 or older)
Selling desserts in the Dessert Room (14 or older)
Salsa Dance Instruction (must have some Salsa Dancing experience)
Clean up for the event (all ages welcome!)

Please contact Jennifer Oliver to sign up for this fun and worthy cause!

Jennifer Oliver
Education Director

Young Audiences of San Diego
4007 Camino del Rio South, Ste. 212
San Diego, CA 92108
T: (619) 282–7599
F: (619) 282–7598

Volunteer San Diego

Read more!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

SAVY Leaders Celebrate Another Successful Year!

Volunteer San Diego’s SAVY Leaders recently celebrated the completion of another successful year of leadership and service to the community. On June 6th, Volunteer San Diego staff hosted a Recognition Dinner to honor the many accomplishments the SAVY Leaders had this year as they worked to raise awareness for their chosen issue: the lack of funding to arts and sports programs and facilities in schools.

Each SAVY Leader was presented with the San Diego City Schools “A+” Award for exemplary leadership and commitment to volunteerism, and a Participation Award for successfully completing one year of service as a SAVY Leader. Six SAVY Leaders were recognized as Outstanding SAVY Leaders who went above and beyond the requirements: Mike Baek, Brad Bowen, Iris Do, Shanika Hunter, John Lee and Hong Van Pham.

Six additional SAVY Leaders received the President’s Volunteer Service Award. This award is given to those demonstrating outstanding volunteer service and civic participation by volunteering at least 100 hours over a one year period. The SAVY Leaders who received this award are: Shanika Hunter (250 hours), Philip Lin (216), Schuyler Marquez (175), Paulette Murillo (134), Iris Do (125), and Hong Van Pham (118).

Several SAVY Leaders have written articles to be shared with the community that reflect on what activities the SAVY Leaders planned and participated in and the success they had in raising awareness for their issue. Please click on each author’s name to read their story!
Nikita Ahmad, Brad Bowen, Schuyler Marquez, Savannah Lake.

Read more!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Congratulations to our Art Contest Winners

Thank you to all who participated. We received so many fantastic entries, it was tough to pick the winners. Check out the winning entries on our website. Congratulations to Danielle from the Good Shepherd Catholic School, whose entry "Volunteer... and grow from it" was chosen for the Hands On San Diego t-shirt design.

Save the Dates! Hands On San Diego is Sept. 16-24th. Start recruiting your friends & family now to help complete a project over the 3rd week in Sept. Paint a building, read to kids, serve meals, collect books and school supplies...see the full list of projects on July 24th.

Read more!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

SAVY Leaders Take Home Prestigious Award

On Thursday, May 4, 2006, Volunteer San Diego's youth program, SAVY Leaders, were recognized for their outstanding achievement in the community through their high-qulaity
service-learning efforts during the 2005-2006 school year.

The 24th Annual End-of-Year Community Recognition Event was held at SeaWorld San Diego and was sponsored by SeaWorld and California Coast Credit Union. The event award was received by our SAVY Leader co-chairs Michelle Lu and Shanika Hunter.

The "A+ Award - For Commitment and Support...Above and Beyond" was awarded to only 3 community partners out of 1100+ that collaborate with the San Diego City School District.

Volunteer San Diego wishes to thank the Partnerships in Education 2005-2006 Advisory Board, the Community Relations Department and Superintendent Dr. Carl Cohn for this prestigious award.

Read more!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Stories of Service

Stories of Service is a Service-Learning program that gives High School students the opportunity to turn a War Veterans service experiences into a mini documentary by conducting an hour long oral history about the Veterans overall experience in the military. Adult Mentors, High School students, and Veterans work as a team to produce a 3-4 minute movie based on the interview, both of which are sent to be stored in the Library of Congress.

Veterans get recognition for their experiences, a permanent record of their experiences, and the opportunity to interact with youth and the community.

Volunteer San Diego in collaboration with the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in Balboa Park will hold all trainings and has a computer lab set up to complete these heroic stories. You simply have to have ability and interest to learning something new and exciting!

We are looking for volunteers to be:

ADULT MENTORS - Assist in the script writing process, work with youth in the interviewing process, and provide general guidance in the production process and simply act as a liaison between the team and the Stories of Service Coordinator and site staff.

YOUTH PRODUCERS - Students gain life and job skills in interviewing, script writing, story boarding, video and audio production and service with the community.

Applications are available at our Stories of Service page.

Read more!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Mother's Day

Help make Mother's Day special for many San Diego women and raise money for Volunteer San Diego at the same time! Join us this week on either Thursday May 11, Friday May 12, or Saturday May 13 between 8:00AM - 4:00PM. We need help at Flowers by Coley in Kearny Mesa. Volunteers will work either in the store or delivering flowers. If you deliver flowers you will use their vehicles and gasoline and they will provide directions! You won't believe the wonderful smiles on their faces as you deliver flowers to these moms and grandmoms! Sign up from the Project Calendar on our website, for the shift that works for you.

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

National & Global Youth Service Day Impact 2006

As the Lead Agency for National & Global Youth Service Day (N&GYSD) 2006 in San Diego County, Volunteer San Diego coordinated N&GYSD events across the county between April 17 - 23, including a signature event planned entirely by our SAVY Leaders.

A total of 28 National & Global Youth Service projects took place in San Diego County between April 17 - 23. 986 volunteers (of which 783 were youth 25 and under) participated, contributing over 3,500 hours of service to the San Diego community.

National & Global Youth Service Day (N&GYSD) is the largest service event in the world, engaging millions of young people ages 5-25. It promotes public awareness and education, highlights the amazing contributions that young people make to their communities, and supports and encourages youth to begin on a life-long path of service and civic engagement.

Read more!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Recognize Your Volunteers

National Volunteer Week is April 23-29th. Volunteer San Diego can help you recognize your volunteers! We provide the following FREE to our registered partner agencies:

  • Museum Passes: Through our partnership with the City of San Diego, these passes will entitle your volunteers to a one-time complimentary visit to any or all of the listed museums anytime during April 2006. This has always been a wonderful way to recognize your volunteers. Please email Linda or Debbie with the number of passes that you need (max. 50).
  • 2006 Volunteers of the Month Award: This award, sponsored by the San Diego Padres and VSD, honors outstanding individuals or groups in San Diego County who perform extraordinary and meaningful volunteer service in their community. Awards will be presented at a San Diego Padres home game. For details on eligibility and to download a nomination form, click here.

Not yet registered with us? Click here!

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Valentine's Day Flower Delivery Drivers Needed

Enjoy a thousand smiles on Valentine's Day and help Volunteer San Diego with a fundraising opportunity!

We are working with Flowers by Coley in Kearny Mesa to deliver Valentine's Day flowers on Monday, February 13 and Tuesday, February 14. Drivers are needed both days 8:00AM - 3:00PM.

Be involved in one of the busiest holidays of the year! Experience the joy of giving! Have fun! Help make someone's day!

Details: You must be 18 or older. You will drive their van, use their gas and be provided directions. Dress code: long pants, close toed shoes and no tank tops. Do you want to bring a friend? It is much easier if you drive and someone else navigates and keeps you company!

Sign up on the website on the Project Calendar! Questions, contact

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Lights! Cameras! Action! Oscar Party!

It's Academy Award time so join in the celebration to help benefit Volunteer San Diego.

When: Sunday, March 5th, 2006 5:00 p.m. - until "Best Picture" is announced
Where: Dave & Buster's Private Showroom 2931 Camino del Rio North, Mission Valley
How: $40 per person in advance; $50 at the door
All proceeds benefit Volunteer San Diego

Get your tickets/more information at:

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Friday, January 13, 2006

Buick Invitational Volunteers

Helicopter Ball Drop volunteers needed at the Buick Invitational! Come join this wonderful event. The Century Club and the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department are requesting volunteers to sell golf balls and promote the Helicopter Ball Drop during tournament week (Jan. 23-29) of the 2006 Buick Invitational. This unique fundraiser benefits the San Diego Regional Fire and Rescue Helicopter Program. The 2nd Annual Helicopter Ball Drop will take place on Sunday, January 29 (around 4:00 p.m.) on the 4th Fairway of the North Course at Torrey Pines. Thousands of numbered golf balls will be dropped from the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department's Copter 1. The ball that goes in the hole or closest to the pin will win the Grand Prize.

Click here to view more information and to sign up for a shift.

We also still need a few extra volunteers for the concession stands. Help raise money for Volunteer San Diego by signing up for one of these shifts.

All volunteers will receive a daily ticket for the tournament and parking pass.

Read more!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service

Volunteer San Diego's SAVY Leaders are planning our Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Day of Service. Following the example of Dr. King, the SAVY Leaders are taking a non-violent stand for their right to a well-rounded education that includes quality academic as well as art and sports programs.Join us at a community fair featuring up to 19 different art and athletic booths and clinics. At these booths, youth from the community will learn and try activities their schools might not be able to provide. Admission is free and we encourage volunteers and participants to support our local schools by bringing school related items to the event to donate.

To participate, come to Balboa park anytime between 1-4 p.m. We will be on the lawn at Park Blvd. and Presidents Way. Volunteers will be needed to assist with setting up and taking down the community fair, as well as assisting with arts and athletic activities. To sign up to volunteer, please contact Volunteer San Diego at, call 858-636-4123 or sign up on-line. Volunteers will receive free lunch.

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