Friday, September 24, 2010

Our blog has moved

Volunteer San Diego's Blog has moved to WordPress.

Please follow our blog there and don't forget to subscribe so you can receive an e-mail notification when we post something new.

Thank you.

- Volunteer San Diego Staff

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A is for Asparagus, B is for Beets, C is for...

The Arc of San Diego North Shores Vocational Center is a leading provider of services for people with disabilities. This year we're going to finish the planter boxes that were left unfinished by some good-hearted volunteers. Finishing these planter boxes will provide a hands-on way for people with disabilities to learn about the importance of nutrition and to develop their self-help skills. Read more about project details! Sign up to volunteer today!

Chris and Diana

We'd be delighted for you to participate with us in this awesome day of community building!

Which Serve-a-thon project will you be participating in to impact Education in San Diego?

Diana Farias and Chris Heinrich are Serve-a-thon Site Captains for A is for Asparagus, B is for Beets, C is for...

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Beautify a School with Color

If you're artistic, love paint, or just want to help out at a school that really needs it, we want you to volunteer! Rowan Elementary is painting a mural with the theme of "character building." The school hopes the mural's central location will help educate its students about the importance of key character traits, like respect, kindness, determination and more! The mural will also help beautify the school and make it a better and more fun place for students to learn! Register today.

Rachel Lebowitz is an AmeriCorps VIP Fellow with Outside the Lens and Serve-a-thon Site Captain for Beautify a School with Color.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

AmeriCorps Reflections on Service - Part 4

The final post in our "AmeriCorps Reflections" series this month is from Gypsy Walukones, AmeriCorps Member - Disaster Outreach Coordinator.

It is somewhat overwhelming to look back at everything I’ve learned during my AmeriCorps year. Aside from picking up enough acronyms to fill a word-of-the-day desk calendar, I gained experience in writing press releases, recruiting and training volunteers, and working with governmental and non-governmental organizations in the disaster arena. I developed a social media plan and documented processes for Emergency Volunteer Centers. I have been given the chance to improve my public speaking skills and represent the program and organization.

I appreciate the opportunities Volunteer San Diego has given me as well as all the help and support I have received from staff, Disaster Cadre volunteers, and fellow AmeriCorps members. It has been an honor and pleasure to work with such an innovative, energetic, and motivated group of people!

Thank you, Gypsy! The energy and talent you have brought to the Disaster Program have made it a pleasure to work with you.

We hope you have read all four of these reflections from Jennie, Sharon, Nate and Gypsy. We have been inspired by all of them. We are sad to see their year of service come to a close, but are proud of each of their accomplishments. We are also happy that many will be staying close by! Gypsy will volunteer on the Disaster Cadre as a Public Information Officer, Sharon is serving on our Serve-a-thon Committee, and Jennie will join our staff as the new Community Organization Services Coordinator. Our sincere gratitude and best wishes go to all four!

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Monday, August 16, 2010

AmeriCorps Reflections on Service - Part 3

The third reflection comes from Nate Kieso, AmeriCorps VISTA - Community Organization Liaison.

This is my second year, well spent, with AmeriCorps VISTA. I began my work in Iowa in response to the historic floods of 2008. Working for AmeriCorps has been the most rewarding work I had ever done in my life, so I decided to continue in service of my country. AmeriCorps VISTA gave me the tools and the chance to go to San Diego and do meaningful work for Volunteer San Diego. In turn Volunteer San Diego has enabled me to develop my professional skills and provide me with a firm foundation in San Diego, which I am proud to call my new home. I am excited to continue in service to my new community! Also, no offense to my hometown, but I love this land without snow!

Thank you, Nate! Your dedication to and passion for service has been an inspiration to all of us at Volunteer San Diego.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

AmeriCorps Reflections on Service - Part 2

This second reflection comes from Sharon Lynn, AmeriCorps Member - Volunteer Relations Coordinator.

As my term of AmeriCorps service comes to a close, I have many reasons to be grateful for the experience of working at Volunteer San Diego.  As a previous office volunteer for Volunteer San Diego and Serve-a-thon Committee Member, I thought I knew a lot about how much work the staff handled and how the organization was run.  Once I became part of the staff, I realized how much I had not been aware of and how motivated the staff is on a daily basis to accomplish all that is humanly possible to make this the best organization it can be.

My position as Volunteer Relations Coordinator was a challenge in that I was walking on some new territory for the organization, combined with a huge amount of new territory for myself.  In my assignment of onboarding New Flex Team Leaders and Internal Volunteers, I was the instrument for implementing newly created systems while formalizing all pertinent documentation.  Thank you Volunteer San Diego for guiding, encouraging, and helping me stretch in ways I had not imagined possible!

Thank you, Sharon! We are constantly impressed with your motivation and all the amazing work you have done at VSD.

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Thursday, August 05, 2010

AmeriCorps Reflections on Service - Part 1

This month, four talented AmeriCorps members will end their year of service with Volunteer San Diego. We will be posting their reflections on their service year here on our blog. The first comes from Jennie McDonald, AmeriCorps VISTA - Community Organization Liaison.

"If you had asked me last year what I hoped to accomplish during my term as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Volunteer San Diego, I would have answered in terms of small goals. I initially hoped to improve my public speaking skills and gain experience in the San Diego nonprofit community. I achieved these goals and more. I helped implement an orientation for community organizations, collaborated with community members to improve volunteer programs, and gained confidence as a nonprofit professional. I am completing my term with the self-assurance that my hard work has made a meaningful difference at Volunteer San Diego, and in the greater community. I am incredibly grateful for all of the wonderful opportunities that AmeriCorps and Volunteer San Diego have given me in this life-changing year." 

Thank you, Jennie! We are incredibly grateful for your service and all you have contributed to VSD and the San Diego community.

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Monday, August 02, 2010

Volunteer San Diego website and email down

Unfortunately, Volunteer San Diego's website and email system have been down since Sunday. We have been working all morning to resolve this issue and hope to have it fixed as quickly as possible. If you have sent us anything urgent via email, please note that we have not received it. If you need to reach us, you can do so by calling us at 858-300-3280.

Thank you for your patience.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Everyone Has A Little Captain In Them!

As a volunteer I always wondered what went on behind the scenes. My curiosity first led me to become a Team Leader for the Flexible Volunteer Program with Volunteer San Diego. My particular project was a piece of cake. There were three other team leaders if I ever needed someone to cover, the project had already been running for ten years so there was already a smooth line of communication with the library, and there were a myriad of "regulars" who attended the project.

Fast forward and I am signing up to be a Site Captain for Serve-a-thon 2009. This should be just like being a Team Leader, right? Wrong. All of these projects are quite literally just "ideas-written-on-paper" until you bring them to life. It's all you. Everything from contacting the site where you'll be volunteering, to getting the supplies that you'll be using, to keeping contact with the volunteers you'll be leading, to running the show on the day of. After learning all of this, my expectations flew out the window.

I attended my first training to get a better hold on what I needed to do. When I arrived, everything was so overwhelming. I was already off to a bit of a late start because I had missed a couple trainings. The Site Captains there all seemed unfazed by the daunting tasks ahead of them. It was intimidating to sit and listen to all the progress they had already made. Then, I realized what all these Site Captains already knew. I understood why they didn't seemed worried: It isn't all you. You are not alone. The staff at VSD is there for a reason. Between trainings and emails there was always someone around to answer questions.

Fast forward through a few more trainings and the project is finally here. My project went off with a few bumps here and there, but overall, it was a huge success. KUSI even came out to film us at one point. I would later find out that my fellow Site Captains had similar experiences and that all of Serve-a-thon was going great. It felt good to be a part of something that was making such a huge impact.

So that was my story from last year. I was scared, I had no idea what to expect, and I had a late start to top it all off. A year later I am signed up to do it all over again. This time around it looks like it will be even easier to ask questions and get support. Hopefully my story can provide hope for those wondering if they can do it; a year ago I wasn't sure that I could. With a positive attitude and a little help from VSD, I discovered that I had a little captain in me.

Site Captains are still needed for Volunteer San Diego's Serve-a-thon 2010. If you are motivated, have (or want to gain) great leadership skills, have a desire to give back to the community, can inspire people and want to have some fun...then Volunteer San Diego is looking for you! For more information, click here.

Andrew Tran is a Serve-a-thon Site Captain and Flex Team Leader for Volunteer San Diego. He also has his own blog, Ramblings of Andrew Tran.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

The Secret to Effective Nonprofits? Good Volunteer Engagement

Recent research is confirming what we’ve often witnessed at Volunteer San Diego: organizations that engage volunteers well are more effective than those that do not. Earlier this year, I had the chance to hear preliminary findings of this research from Peter York of the TCC Group. He discovered that “organizational effectiveness is significantly stronger for nonprofits with more than 50 volunteers AND a robust volunteer management model.” He termed these organizations service enterprises.

The paper concludes with a recommendation for the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors to invest in developing service enterprises and to empower intermediary service organizations that support multiple community programs.

As your local intermediary service organization, VSD has long advocated that it is not enough to involve volunteers, it also is critical to engage them well. Yet many organizations haven’t invested in volunteerism. Many do not have staff dedicated to supporting volunteers. Even those that do struggle to adequately prepare the staff member; only 30% of staff with volunteer administration responsibilities have had any training.

It’s one of the reasons that VSD invests in building the capacity of organizations to engage volunteers well through volunteer project management, training, networking, resource sharing, and placement of volunteer infrastructure-building AmeriCorps members.

We are thrilled to learn about this validation of our work and the work of our partner organizations. I look forward to reporting more when I return from our national conference next week.

Thanks for your support of VSD and volunteerism!
Sue Carter
Executive Director

Why 50 Volunteers Make a Difference

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Pat on the Back

Congratulations, Americans! The Corporation for National & Community Service released a report which stated that despite the troubling economic times facing the nation, there has been a surge in volunteerism over the past year. Americans have a collectively generous spirit which has, yet again, shined in times of trouble. Everyone who has selflessly given their time and talents during the past year should hold their head up high with pride. The community as a whole thanks you!

We San Diegan volunteers can especially be proud of ourselves. San Diego's volunteer rate for the past year was 29.3%, beating the national average of 26.8%. This data is consistent with Volunteer San Diego's experience. We helped fill 51,000 positions last year, which is a 45% increase from the previous year! We project a 15% increase in the next year, which means that the volunteer spirit is alive and well in our little corner of the world.

All of you amazing volunteers are making a big difference in the San Diego community and the time you give is truly priceless. The increase in overall volunteerism in this country is a great attribute to you all.

Katie Grzecknik is a volunteer Blogger for Volunteer San Diego.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Volunteer Superhero: Brad Graybehl

Volunteer San Diego would like to recognize Brad Graybehl: Flex Team Leader, trainer of new Team Leaders and Community Chair of the Flex Project Development Team – basically a Flex Program volunteer extraordinaire. 

Brad came to Volunteer San Diego when a friend asked him to consider taking on becoming a Team Leader for a homework helper project; that was over five years ago. Since his start in 2005, Brad has been committed and continues to lead the weekly Serra Mesa Homework Helpers project, seeing many youth come and grow. Over the past two years, Brad has stepped up even more by working with VSD staff to revise the new Team Leader training and continues to work with staff and other volunteers on the Flex Project Development Team to grow and expand the Flex Program by developing new projects.

This past month, Brad was asked to speak at a national training facilitated by Volunteer San Diego for 17 HandsOn Network Affiliates from all over the country. “It was great to see Brad speak to other HandsOn Network affiliates about how they too can engage volunteer Team Leaders in their communities. The feedback we received from our affiliates was that they wanted a Brad of their own supporting their organization,” quoted Sarah Adams, Program Director at Volunteer San Diego.  

To learn more about Volunteer San Diego’s Leadership Opportunities or the Flex Project Development Team, contact Jaci Feinstein.

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Monday, June 07, 2010

Site Captains Needed for Serve-a-thon 2010!

Are you looking for a new leadership opportunity? Do you want to gain valuable experience in volunteer and project management? Become a Site Captain for Serve-a-thon 2010!

Serve-a-thon is Volunteer San Diego’s largest service and fundraising event of the year. Formerly known as Hands On San Diego, this two day event continues with VSD’s tradition of providing quality projects and services to the community. Serve-a-thon projects focus on a pertinent community issue each year, and this year’s focus is on education.   

Our Site Captains truly are the heart of this volunteer event as they are the face of Volunteer San Diego for the volunteers and host organizations. We put a high value on our Site Captains because they ensure that the community members attending our projects have the best possible experience. We ask that all our Site Captains be willing to commit to attending one training a month for four months and leading at least one project during the Serve-a-thon weekend (Oct. 8-9). In return, we will provide you the opportunity to fine-tune your leadership skills, meet great people, build your resume and increase your impact as a volunteer leader.

To sign up for the First Site Captain Training on June 24, 2010 please click here.

For more information, click here or email

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Friday, June 04, 2010

Operation Welcome Home

Yesterday, Volunteer San Diego participated in the launch of Operation Welcome Home, the Governor’s Initiative to help veterans returning home from service. A number of veterans spoke powerfully about living in a war zone, the sometimes hidden physical and emotional scars of doing so, and the challenges of coming back home to civilian life. Some 30,000 vets return to California each year, and San Diego has the second largest veterans’ population in the U.S.

Volunteer San Diego’s role in the effort is to work with local nonprofit, government and civic organizations that serve our vets, helping build their capacity to engage volunteers and supporting their volunteer recruitment. We are honored to help serve those who so dutifully served our country.

If your organization serves veterans and wants to connect with volunteer support, please contact Nate Kieso at 858-300-3280 x203 or VSD will launch new resources for these organizations soon.

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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

What My Mother Taught Me

My mom taught me how to read. She taught me how to roller-skate. And how to make perfect spritz cookies (her secret? keep the dough chilled). She also taught me the value of volunteering.

It happened through Girl Scouts. In 1954, my mom joined a troop in the San Fernando Valley. When I was growing up, she'd tell me stories of her years as a Scout, which included her troop's visits to a boys' orphanage. They'd bring cookies or cupcakes and socialize with the boys.

In 1986, I became a Brownie Girl Scout in Orange County. For the next 12 years, I would learn as much in Scouting as I did in school.

  • As a camp cook, I learned that singing along with the Beastie Boys while stirring scrambled eggs makes them fluffier.
  • As a wheelchair tennis tournament ball girl, I learned the rules of tennis.
  • As a hospital Christmas caroler, I learned that enthusiasm matters more than pitch.
  • As a summer camp counselor to girls with developmental disabilities, I learned that everyone deserves a chance.
Everyone knows that in volunteering, you'll help others feel good about yourself. But here's the secret benefit: you'll have a blast and remember it for the rest of your life.

Volunteer San Diego can help you find the perfect service project.

Perhaps, one day, you'll be able to tell your daughter about the time you brought home-baked cupcakes to boys living in a makeshift home.

Happy Mother's Day! Leave a comment and tell us how your mother taught you the value of service.

Michelle Panik is a volunteer Blogger for Volunteer San Diego. She also has her own blogs at Stray Carrier Pigeon and Michelle Panik.

PHOTO CAPTION: Circa 1987, my mom helps my troop paint store windows as a fundraiser.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

From Bali to Bengals…and more!

Ever want to meet the Prince of Bali?

Or get some football pointers from J.T. O’Sullivan of the Cincinnati Bengals?

Or learn some poker tips from Rich Lederer, the father of national Poker champions Annie Duke and Howard Lederer?

Now’s your chance!

Volunteer San Diego is holding an online auction, "Give Back, Get Back," which launches April 29th and runs through May 15th. The auction features some unique, one-of-a-kind items and experiences, with all proceeds going to support Volunteer San Diego. Check out some of the wonderful items at:,_Get_Back.html.

You can also vote for your favorite items!
We want to encourage you to spread the word about the auction, and vote for your favorite items: each time someone clicks on the vote icon on any auction page or votes from Facebook it increases the chance that a particular auction will show up on the home page. You can vote as often as you want!

And speaking of launching….

If you’re thinking about getting away, here’s an idea for you:
Volunteer San Diego, in partnership with our generous friends at Holland America, is offering some lucky donor a 7-day Holland America cruise for two to Mexico or the Caribbean. Any donation received before May 15th qualifies for this trip. Auction purchases over $100 qualify as well. Visit our website to find out more at

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Many Small Influences Create Change

My name is Omar Passons, I am the volunteer President of the Board of Directors for the North Park Community Association (NPCA). The NPCA’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for all who live, work, and visit North Park through a combination of social and service actions. We seek to promote improvements in our community by encouraging as many people as possible to give whatever time they can because we understand that 100 people giving even a couple hours of their time can be a tremendous benefit for our community.

In the past twelve months, we have worked with neighbors, local government leaders, and businesses to achieve some important milestones for North Park. We helped remove over $20,000 worth of graffiti vandalism from our homes and public streets. Together, we removed several tons of waste from our streets and alleys with community clean-up efforts. And we came together as a community to raise the money for free summer concerts at Bird Park so that even in challenging economic times our neighbors were able to enjoy our open space and the friendly atmosphere that is typical of our neighborhoods.

In 2009, the NPCA began a long-term effort to help make physical and other improvements to our community’s largest public park, and after more than six months we worked with the School District and the City of San Diego to allocate more than $600,000 in resources that will help transform a large portion of this great community park. Through our Key Neighbor program and new collaborations, we’ve started working with dedicated volunteers from Pt. Loma, Ocean Beach, Normal Heights, Otay Mesa/Nestor and Pacific Beach to elevate our grassroots community improvement goals.

The thing about North Park specifically and volunteering in general is that it is not just about these distinct, measurable achievements. Our community cares about making improvements from within and about living in a place where you know your neighbors, can walk to great shops and restaurants, and where the spirit of giving in service to our neighborhoods really matters. It is that spirit that encouraged two of our neighbors to almost single-handedly repair a run-down street corner. That spirit also convinced one of our neighbors to run an anti-vandalism campaign that protects our businesses and residents with over 20 Key Neighbors. And that same spirit has fostered years of commitment from dozens of locals to improve access for our disabled neighbors, increase walkability, and the highlight the historical character of our neighborhoods. The NPCA is one volunteer organization, but in North Park great volunteer work is also done by the North Park Historical Society, the North Park Planning Committee, the University Heights Community Association, the Altadena Neighborhood Association, the Redwood Neighborhood Watch Group, the Burlingame HOA, the North Park Action Team, and dozens of individuals that I see out on walks picking up trash, passing out flyers, staffing booths, and helping our young people.

Many people don’t know that North Park actually stretches from down around Switzer Canyon all the way to north of Adams and from the 805 to Park. This is the area that the City uses to plan and the area that the NPCA focuses its volunteer efforts on. We have many small neighborhoods with their own individual character across North Park, and together we are working to create and maintain the type of community that is welcoming to all and a great place to live.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Casino Night by Chris Huntley

For two years, I’ve enjoyed the incredible thrill of serving our community through projects arranged by Volunteer San Diego. As a busy husband and father of two little girls, and working full time in life insurance, I simply don’t have a lot of time to donate. That’s where the benefits of working with Volunteer San Diego come in to play, as their service projects are numerous and flexible to boot. Their projects seem to fit into any schedule and any area in which you’re passionate to serve.

The particular project that suits my schedule and passion for service is the Casino Night at Country Hills Healthcare in El Cajon. As someone who loves blackjack and poker, I can’t think of a more diverting way to bring a smile to a senior’s face. And smile they do. We typically play blackjack and bingo, but I tend to stick around the blackjack table.

My favorite duty is dealing. You’d be surprised by the high quality of play by the blackjack participants. Perhaps some of the residents there are former “high rollers”. Many of them know how to play the odds, such as when you should hit and when you should stay, and it’s not unusual after a night filled with doubling down, splitting, and getting paid on blackjacks, for them to clean me out.

It brings a smile to my heart too how much they mean business. They’re only playing for nickels, but you’d think some of their social security checks were on the line as competitive as they get. Just watch out if you’re dealing there, because if you miscount when you’re adding their cards (which I frequently do), they catch you every time, and let you know about it.

I’ve personally gotten a great deal of satisfaction every time I’ve gone, and thank Volunteer San Diego for orchestrating such a creative event. The residents love their casino night and truly appreciate the volunteers’ efforts at VSD. I know I feel appreciated and always leave with a smile. So next time you check the schedule and see Casino Night at Country Hills Healthcare, I highly recommend you sign up for the project, come out and visit us, and come ready for a blackjack of an experience.

Chris Huntley is a volunteer at Country Hills Healthcare and our first featured Guest Blogger Celebrating Volunteer Month. Please visit his blog at

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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Homework Helpers Projects seeking Bilingual Tutors

I like to think of myself as a “Citizen of the World,” not just as an estadounidense. When I moved from the wind-swept plains of Iowa to San Diego, I encountered the World. San Diego is an extremely unique place: it has a bustling port, it hosts fragile, diverse ecosystems, and it is along an international border. All these things make it a fertile place for future “Citizens of the World” and Volunteer San Diego wants to help nurture them. Our College-Rolando Homework Helpers project is looking for Bilingual Spanish-English speakers and French-English speakers, and our newly-minted North Park Homework Helpers project is looking for Bilingual Spanish-English speakers.

If you are bilingual and want to help others with the language and their school work, please attend College-Rolando Homework Helpers or North Park Homework Helpers.

~ Nathan Kieso, Community Organization Liaison, Volunteer San Diego

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Sail Away on a Holland America Cruise!

Even we San Diegans, who live in one of the most temperate year-round climates, need a vacation every now and then. But with ones that involve long car trips or airport hassles, you often return home more exhausted than when you left.

Cruising, where you get onboard and let someone else do the driving - not to mention the cooking and cleaning - is an easy way to see a different part of the world without the worries of maps or supplemental rental car insurance.

Now through April 30, every $100+ that you donate to Volunteer San Diego will enter you in a chance to win a seven-day Holland America cruise for two. The winner will be able to choose any destination in Mexico or the Caribbean. Of course there are a few restrictions, but they're reasonable, and you can read about them here.

Volunteer San Diego spends $21 for each volunteer that we place. In donating $100, you will in effect be sponsoring almost five volunteers, and also be in the running for a free vacation!

Volunteer San Diego not only matches ordinary San Diegans with volunteer opportunities at over 700 organizations, but also supports local businesses looking to start or improve their corporate volunteer programs. All of this work is especially valuable because it has an immediate impact on our local community.

So don't wait - make your donation by April 30!

Michelle Panik is a volunteer Blogger for Volunteer San Diego. She also has her own blogs at Stray Carrier Pigeon and Michelle Panik.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

VSD Looking for Guest Bloggers!

Here at Volunteer San Diego, we love sharing stories of our great projects and wonderful volunteers. We also recognize that sometimes the best stories come from those out in the community, those getting involved and making a difference everyday. San Diegans are changing our city for the better everyday, and we want to hear from you! VSD is looking for Guest Bloggers to write up a little something about a recent volunteer experience or project you worked on via VSD.

Are you a "Friend of Cats"? Do you and your family love "Feeding America"? Maybe a "Weed Warrior" not to be messed with? If so, we would love for you to write up a short story reflecting on your volunteer involvement and the impact it has on yourself and your community. No blog experience is necessary, just a willingness to share your experience with the rest of the world. We will be posting the best amateur blogs on our official VSD Blog throughout the upcoming weeks in support of Volunteer Month in April. So get out your virtual pens and get blogging!
For more information and blog submission, please email Rich Easter at

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Project Highlight: WitKids' Dinner Garden

WitKids, one of our fantastic member organizations, educates, inspires, and empowers kids to make a difference in their school, community, and the world through volunteer work and community service, Whatever It Takes!

WitKids has partnered with the The Dinner Garden, a national organization that fights hunger, for a project in Amici Park in Little Italy. On Saturday, January 30, volunteers spent the day bagging seeds, making pots out of newspaper, and distributing seed packets to families in need. Sixty-four families participated in this spectacular volunteer event.

Several WitKids volunteers shared their experiences:

"My day started off with getting one of the WitKids t-shirts, and thinking that I can do whatever it takes just by packaging seeds. I soon start my day at a table packaging many different seeds, making cards, and planting seeds in a newspaper vase. What I also like is that everything is environmentally safe and everybody there is so friendly. And when it came to the end of the day Ms. Hernholm [the Director and Founder of WitKids] gave an announcement that we did Whatever It Takes and that we the kids are successful when we all work together as one whole, and remember keep on doing," Whatever It Takes."
- Emily W. (age 10)

"I had a good time helping WitKids! I got to have fun and make the world a
better place at the same time. No matter what you do, you are always
someone. I got to bag seeds (broccoli, parsnip, mustard etc.), make pots out of
newspapers to use to grow the seeds in, make cards to make people smile and
I got to meet the designer-girl of the WitKids t-shirt. I had the most fun telling people about WitKids and the seeds at the Farmer's Market in Little Italy. I met so many nice people! There is nothing like WitKids!"
- Brody E. (age 8)

A parent's perspective: "WitKids was a special adventure for our family. Not only was it a 'feel good' day doing something good and 'passing it forward', but the day had extra magic as we got to watch our kids GIVE from the heart and do Whatever It Takes to bring a smile to others we walk on the planet with."

Many thanks to the WitKids volunteers for making such a difference in our local community! Interested in other projects with WitKids? Click here. Want to volunteer with your entire family? Click here for family-friendly projects.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Volunteer Opportunity Spotlight: December Nights

The holiday season has come and gone, leading into transitions in the new year. Our volunteer youth blogger, Luz Gozal, tells about her experience at the annual December Nights event, which was held December 4 and 5, 2009:

"San Diego opens some of its museums two nights a year to all at no cost. This event is called December Nights and is held in Balboa Park. You can visit museums such as the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, the San Diego Automotive Museum, the Museum of Man, and many more! The opportunity of bringing art and culture into a person’s life free of charge appeals to many. This year, the park was visited by more than 300,000 people of all ages and races.

There was an answer for all cultural interests. I found mine at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, where I am a volunteer. I love science and the museum always offers a variety of exhibits and learning workshops. To top it off, the museum has the only IMAX Dome Theater in San Diego. I love to volunteer at the museum because every day is different and there’s always something interesting going on. People are evidently aware of this because the museum was packed at all times. Although some people had to wait in line, the night outside was splendid and the lighting gorgeous so people seemed relaxed and happy. This is what December Nights is about: feeling happy to be granted a variety of cultural choices and entertainment for free."

Interested in volunteering at a special event? Check out Volunteer San Diego's project calendar. Want to gain experience at a museum? Check out our cultural opportunities - there's something for everyone!

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