SANTA CRUZ COUNTY — The Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County and fellow nonprofits are gearing up for a day of service for Martin Luther King Day on Jan. 15.

Community members are invited to register for one of the projects offered throughout the county. 

“Each year hundreds of local residents are inspired to carry the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. forward through a day of community action,” said Volunteer Center Mobilization Coordinator Christina Thurston. “We expect a great turnout this year as we have partnered with fellow nonprofits and the faith-based community to offer a range of exciting options.”

Space is available for individuals, groups and families to help maintain local beaches, support community members in need, or revitalize outdoor spaces. 

Organizations and groups collaborating with the Volunteer Center to offer service projects on the holiday include Digital NEST, Ecology Action, Evergreen Historical Cemetery, Homeless Garden Project, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, Meal on Wheels and Santa Cruz Gardens Elementary.  

Community members are encouraged to register in advance online but they can also join on the day of at the MLK Day of Service Celebration from 12-3 p.m. at Santa Cruz Bible Church, 440 Frederick St., Santa Cruz. All are welcome for light refreshments, coffee and card making for Meals on Wheels clients.  

“While many of the projects are happening in the morning, we’ve adjusted our MLK Day of Service Project Schedule with an afternoon offering as well to accommodate those who also want to attend the 2018 MLK Day March for the Dream co-hosted by the NAACP’s Santa Cruz County Branch and the Santa Cruz Police Department,” Thurston said.

The march begins at 10 a.m. on Pacific Avenue between Cathcart and Cedar streets in downtown Santa Cruz, to be followed by speeches and family-friendly activities on Cooper Street.  

Additionally, the Volunteer Center’s Friends Outside program is hosting a clothing and blanket drive that will kick off on MLK Day. Community members are invited to donate new and gently used coats, scarves, blankets, and new toiletries.

Individuals are welcome to bring items they would like to donate to the MLK Day Celebration at Santa Cruz Bible Church or drop off their items at locations throughout Santa Cruz County between Jan. 16-31. Drop-off locations and hours can be found by visiting the Volunteer Center website at 

“Many of us resolved to get more involved with the needs of our community in the New Year and the excellent array of local events on MLK Day offer individuals the perfect opportunity to get started on that commitment,” Thurston said. 

To view the list of Martin Luther King Day projects, visit or contact Thurston at 427-5070 or [email protected].

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