The VCSV connects volunteers to more than 1160 registered non-profit organizations, charities, and school programs throughout the Santa Clara County (SCC). The Center maintains a community volunteer network that allows interested volunteers to search through current opportunities based on their availability, interests and skills. Approximately 5000 volunteers are directly referred through this process throughout the year. Beyond that, VCSV offers specialized programs for youth, seniors, individuals with special needs, corporations, community associations, and faith-based organizations. Cumulatively, VCSV refers approximately 15,000 volunteers annually.
Founding Year: 1987
VCSV was founded as a partnership between the Junior League of San Jose and the United Way of Silicon Valley. Since its inception, VCSV has taken a leadership role to develop and promote volunteer services in response to the expanding needs of the community. As a key innovator in volunteer services, the Volunteer Center continues to evolve its role to expand volunteer capacity and provide additional services to its recipient organizations.
- Youth Volunteerism - The VCSV connects teens to quality volunteer opportunities through outreach activities and its three youth programs: Youth Volunteer Leadership and Service Team (YST), a year-long program, offering high school students the resources to participate in and produce youth friendly community service activities, State of California CAMINOs Community Service Program, a rehabilitative community service program for expelled or suspended students, AmeriCorps Ambassador Mentor Program where students are mentored by senior citizens who share their skills and expertise with the younger generation.
- Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) - The VCSV sponsors and operates Northern Santa Clara County RSVP through a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service Senior Corps. RSVP, a network of national programs, provides older Americans 55+ the opportunity to apply their life experience to meeting community needs. Whether teaching children or adults to read, brightening the day of a homebound senior or providing much-needed support to nonprofit organizations, RSVP volunteers make their communities stronger.
- Individuals with Disabilities Volunteerism - As a partner of the California Disability VISTA Project, the VCSV assists individuals with special needs to find volunteer opportunities that develop their practical skill sets— the crucial first step towards workforce entry or reentry. Along with our Situational Assessment Vocational Specialist, individuals with disabilities are partnered with a community-based organization to provide an individualized, timely, and systematic process by which a person seeking employment, learns to identify viable vocational options and develop employment goals and objectives.
- Corporate and Organizational Volunteer Services - The VCSV provides a variety of consulting services to corporations, government entities, community associations, and faith-based organizations for managing their employee volunteerism programs and assisting with their organizational community giving programs. Services include on-site volunteer program coordination, Done-in-a-Day projects, volunteer fairs, and monthly volunteer opportunity bulletin.
- VOLUNTEER EMERGENCY INFORMATION AND REFERRAL SERVICES - Your local Volunteer Emergency Operations Center (VEOC) in any declared disaster. VCSV is partnered with the Emergency Managers’ Association of SCC, representing the 15 cities as well as the County, to serve as the primary local information, registration, and referral resource for managing spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers during disaster response and recovery operations. The Center operates a network of VEOCs throughout the county to assure effective and efficient distribution and management of all available volunteers in any disaster situation.
- Emergency Preparedness Training - The VCSV serves as the operational training program coordinator for SCC Citizen Corps Councils, the 15 municipalities, and 4 large unincorporated jurisdictions. VCSV provides class scheduling and coordination, speakers bureau management and advanced instructor training for national Homeland Security Citizen Emergency Response Training (CERT). VCSV also coordinates annual SCC participation in the national Homeland Security California Safe (CALSAFE) emergency preparedness training for elderly, indigent, disabled and homebound residents.
- Collaborating Agencies Disaster Relief Efforts (CADRE) - As the county coordinator for Collaborating Agencies in Disaster Relief Efforts (CADRE), VCSV facilitates inter-operational planning, networking, and training for affiliate agencies’ disaster relief efforts. As the county CADRE coordinator, VCSV works with the county Vulnerable Populations Coalition to develop suitable county operational response and recovery planning outreach to all disadvantaged components of the community.
- Medical Volunteers for Disaster Response Program - The VCSV is developing, with the SCC Disaster Medical Services Department, a countywide medical services professional volunteer credential registry. This registry, a first-of-its-kind-in-the-nation, will enable all participating medical service professional volunteers to immediately assist in any disaster response and recovery operations.
- Human Race of Silicon Valley - VCSV produces and coordinates the annual countywide Human Race, a community fundraising and fun walk/run event that gives all charities, nonprofit organizations, and school programs an opportunity to raise funds for their programs and services. Individuals and corporations also raise funds for their favorite charities, nonprofit organization, or school program. In its fifteenth year, the Human Race has raised over $2,271,000 for approximately 565 local 501(c) (3) organizations.
- Green Challenge 07-09 - Green Challenge 07-09 is a three-year grassroots family volunteer program that engages families of all types – traditional, non-traditional, corporate, service and faith-based – to take part in quarterly environmental projects. This is an ambitious program to recruit these volunteers to help with hands-on environmental projects such as cleaning open spaces, reducing energy consumption, cutting back on pollution and restoring wildlife and plant habitats. The overall goal is to improve the environment, combat climate change through dynamic individual and group volunteer activities, and keep our air, water and vegetation healthy. Besides hands-on projects, the initiative includes educational campaigns.
How you can help
Volunteer Page: http://www.1-800-volunteer.org/1800Vol/8521/vcindex.do
Donation Page: http://www.vcsv.us/contribute.shtml
The Volunteer Center of Silicon Valley provides vital community building services. Most of our services are provided to members of the community free of charge and serve as an important resource to more than 1000 different non-profit organizations throughout Santa Clara County. Whether supported through a one-time contribution or a planned contribution, all of our programs and services are made possible through the commitment and generosity of people like you. Your contribution is important, ensuring that we will continue to be able to provide these services for years to come.