Community Volunteer Wall
Y'all are doing some great stuff!
Throughout April 2021 Community Builders reached out to the nonprofit community to join us in celebrating Volunteer Month. We asked for short shoutouts recognizing a volunteer or groups of volunteers for their outstanding work. Here are some of the responses we got!
All In Monterey - Tanya Kosta
Tanya Kosta and a small group of friends saw a need to mobilize during the pandemic to help those in need of food, basic essentials, clothes and even cleaning supplies for fire victims. They’ve since grown from a handful of friends to a volunteer effort of over a thousand. Tanya and All In Monterey are an inspiring example of how a spark plug leader with a few friends with a vision to meet needs can create such momentum to do so much good. So, here’s thanks to Tanya and all the volunteers at All In Monterey!
55 AmeriCorps VIP members are working in various agencies to expand volunteer recruitment, manage and maintain program infrastructure and bring tools and best practices for volunteer coordination. We would also like to mention the work that Brooke, one of the team members of CBMC, has contributed to the AmeriCorps as well.
Dorothy's Kitchen - Mark Botelho
Mark is a joyful and upbeat person who began volunteering at Dorothy’s place along with his church, St. Joseph's Parish in Spreckels. When the pandemic began, many volunteers were unable to continue serving at Dorothy’s Place. The Kitchen needed help, and Mark stepped in to help prepare and serve lunch four days each week. His efforts are greatly appreciated by the team at Dorothy’s place!
Arts Council for Monterey County - Alcide Guillory, III
Alcide is currently a Director of Operations at Chamber Music Monterey Bay but has been a dedicated volunteer with the Arts Council for Monterey County over the last couple of years - spending long hours on mailing campaigns, working multiple shifts at the Champions of the Arts gala and assisting in curating local art exhibitions.
During the pandemic, Elkhorn slough was given a campus remodel grant to restore the 7000 sq ft garden, but none of its large groups that typically work with them. Its stewardship volunteers helped tilled the soil, removed rocks, laid mulch, planted 1000 native plants, and reopened the reserve ahead of schedule. These volunteers and their commitment to the site have been an inspiration through the most tumultuous period in our 40-year history, and Elkhorn Slough is grateful to move into this new era in style with them.
Gathering for Women - June Stein and Courtney Faustino
June Stein and Courtney Faustino have done during the pandemic. June has served 685.3 hours at the Gathering for Women center this year, and Courtney has worked 124 hours since June 2020. Gathering for Women is grateful for their service along with its other 143 volunteers who helped at its center and provided food, clothing, personal care items, case management, showers, and assisted in creating a community of women supporting women, especially during this challenging year.
International School of Monterey - Dr. Sameer Bakhda
Dr. Sameer Bakhda is a role model for volunteers at the International School of Monterey. As a parent of children at our school he serves as a board member and is active in several smaller committees. This spring he has been instrumental in bringing COVID-19 Rapid Antigen testing to our school. His leadership and commitment to community health and safety have been key to enabling our students to come back to campus.
Independent Transporation Network - Karen Miller
Independent Transportation Network Monterey County is proud to recognize Karen Miller, one of their newest volunteers who pledge to support our mission of providing dignified transportation even during a pandemic. She joined us in March after COVID closed her business, and has given over 500 rides since then. We are beyond honored for her outstanding dedication to ITN
Loaves, Fishes and Computers - Roy
Roy is a 14-year old aspiring programmer and pilot. He supported LFC in advancing their mission through the pandemic and has refurbished about 75 computers from his home. Roy first learned about LFC through an opportunity to put into practice his Spanish and computer skills, while having a lasting impact on the community. Roy explains that the most rewarding part of volunteering with LFC is knowing that he can bridge the digital divide and give people more opportunities.
Masks for Monterey - Toula and Thalia
Little did mother and daughter, Toula and Thalia, know a dinner table conversation could lead to county-wide movement. They saw a need in their community for masks during the first spike of the pandemic. The result was Masks for Monterey County, which has produced roughly 8,000 masks. Toula and Thalia are proof positive that everyone is capable of having a positive impact, and it can all start with a single, simple act of kindness.
Meals on Wheels - Peninsula - Debbie Williams
Meals on Wheels- Peninsula would like to recognize the work that Debbie Williams has done. Debbie is the backbone of the kitchen volunteers. She is the longest-serving volunteer in the kitchen, with ten years of devoted experience. When new volunteers come in, Debbie is advising them how to do things currently with regards to the making, packing, and setting process of the food trays. Debbie plays an important role in Meals on wheels and is greatly appreciated for everything she does.
Meals on Wheels - Salinas Valley - Michael Ross
Michael Ross has done at their organization. Michael has been volunteering with MOWSV since May 2016 and has worn many hats throughout his volunteering. He first began as a meal delivery driver, bringing weekly meals to our clients in Salinas, and then stepped up to be a part of the inventory loading team when MOWSV needed. He continues to deliver his routes, unloads our meal inventory, and rides with staff to pick up additional food, whether it be from the Food Bank or another food source. Michael is their "go-to" guy and always has a smile on his face! Thank you, Michael, for all you continue to do for MOWSV!
Monterey County Recovers - Sarah Blackstone and Harvey Pressman
With the wildfires that happened, Sarah was busy providing online resources for the victims, donors, and volunteers looking for help. This past year, Sarah with a very small team of volunteers worked with numerous fire victims to get them to the appropriate resources to address their needs. From temporary housing needs, lost wages, bus passes, clothing, gift cards, Sarah and the Monterey Recovers.org team proved to be an essential resource to those impacted by the wildfires while providing a calm and caring connection to people during a very uncertain time.
Returns of the Natives - Elizabeth Delgado
Return of the Natives would like to celebrate the efforts of their volunteer Elizabeth Delgado. Here is a quote from their AmeriCorps VIP Fellow. "Volunteers are the backbone of any organization and help bring life! Return of the Natives is proud to recognize volunteer Elizabeth Delgado! Elizabeth has been fantastic in creating social media content for RON! Her creativity and personality are the perfect combination in her willingness to educate the public of our restoration, conservation, and education efforts for native plants and local habitats! Thanks so much, Elizabeth! "
SPCA - Susan Kofnovec
The SPCA would like to showcase one of its great volunteers, Susan. She and her husband took off time from work and helped the SPCA evacuate. Susan was at the fairgrounds every day until they were able to move back to the shelter. Susan has also jumped in to help clean when the SPCA was short-staffed and will assist in any way possible. She has also helped adopt and foster some of its hard-to-place dogs.
United Way - Elfriede Murry
United way would like to shine a light on its volunteer Elfriede Murry; her contribution was a labor of love. Mrs. Murray helped to bring joy into the lives of moms with newborns by crocheting baby boots filled with love. Her baby booties' impact was heartwarming, especially since hospitals were not allowing visitors in due to the ongoing pandemic. Local hospitals received hundreds of these baby booties; Mrs. Murry has spent countless amounts of hours crocheting since March of 2020
United Way - Makena Silva
Makena Silva demonstrates the true spirit of volunteerism coupled with innovation and entrepreneurship. The 17-year old engaged a network of resources including Rotary and Interact groups, community colleges, medical foundations, school clubs, and individuals who assisted with funding, outreach, and assembly to support the production and distribution of N95 masks and face shields to essential workers in Monterey County during the pandemic.
United Way - Kris Hoffman
Kris has been helping families achieve financial stability through United Way Monterey County’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, contributing over 25 hours a week during the tax season. Due to COVID-19, all VITA sites were suspended in mid-March 2020, but Kris was one of the many VITA volunteers who quickly pivoted to work remotely. Kris has an amazing ability to make taxes fun! She is such a joy to work with and can make you laugh at any moment! Kris has been wonderful support with other volunteers and constantly provides insight to everyone.