“Volunteerism” is Defining the New San Carlos

bobbredel Featured , San Carlos Community Issues Leave a Comment


Muhammad Ali once stated, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.”  With that in mind, it could be said that there is quite a bit of rent being paid in San Carlos these days.

The headlines can be frustrating.  Certainly, San Carlos has seen better financial times. However, beyond the doom and gloom headlines there has been a silver lining in San Carlos over the past two years. With numerous programs and funding on the never-ending chopping block, the amount of people willing to step up and volunteer their time to try and prevent such measures is truly inspiring.

San Carlos has always been a town which has relied on community activism.  Lately, however, this same activism has been ramped up.  Let’s take a look at some of the largest contributors to this effort:

San Carlos Educational Foundation

Founded for the benefit of all public San Carlos schools, this outstanding organization is responsible for million dollar plus donations to San Carlos schools every year.  This year they have a goal of raising 1.7M dollars.  At a time when the economy is sputtering, the hundreds of volunteers dedicated to SCEF have worked feverishly to help fill in the holes in the annual San Carlos School District budget.  Click here for more information.

Keep San Carlos Parks Open

Founded as a result of the San Carlos Parks and Recreation Department’s public announcement to possibly close Crestview, Arguello, Cedar Street Park and Hillcrest Park.  It has been a grassroots effort focused on thinking outside the box for creative solutions to help keep our parks open.  Click here for more information.

San Carlos Youth Sports

It is estimated that San Carlos youth sports have more than 2,000 volunteers.  Roughly, 7.5% of the population of San Carlos, volunteers, on some level, within youth sports. Limited field space, increased user fees and scholarship requests, have made the need for hardworking, dedicated volunteers even more pronounced.

San Carlos Annual Events

The Art & Wine Festival, Hometown Days and Chicken’s Ball require volunteers numbering into the thousands each year. These annual events are important, not just for the residents themselves, but also for the merchants and the commerce that is brought to San Carlos. To all of the many volunteers that take on the less-than-exciting-jobs, behind the scenes……thank you.

City Government

From the City Council, to the Economic Advisory Committee, to the School Board, to the Youth Council…..all volunteers working harder under greater scrutiny.

San Carlos Healthy Cities Tutoring

One of the first programs of its kind, San Carlos Healthy Cities Tutoring Program provides San Carlos school children with a tutor.  During its first 4 and a half years of existence, over 300 students were matched up with a volunteer tutor.

San Carlos Children’s Theater

San Carlos Children’s Theater offers drama courses, workshops and camps, custom programs and full stage productions for creative enrichment, while teaching the fundamentals of the performing arts including acting, singing, dancing, stage and technical production. Currently in their 20th year of production, a fantastic group offering the children of San Carlos an opportunity to perform. The volunteer list is too long to name.  Congrats to the San Carlos Children’s Theater.  For more information on the SCCT, please click here.

San Carlos Adult Community Center

Founded as “the newest and most fully equipped facility of its kind in the Nation,” the San Carlos Adult Community Center relies on its many volunteers to keep the center running.  Positions from class instructors, grant writers to office assistants are all needed.  For more information on the San Carlos Adult Community Center, please click here.

All the Rest

I have touched on some of the larger, more well known volunteer groups. The truth of the matter is that there are many others who deserve recognition for volunteering their time.  If you ever get a chance to read any of the San Carlos history books (which can be purchased at the San Carlos Chamber of Commerce), the chapters covering the early 1930s and how San Carlos made it through the Great Depression is an inspiring part of San Carlos history. While I am certainly not comparing the current economic crisis to the Great Depression, the volunteerism that suddenly took hold in San Carlos during that time period is what gave San Carlos its community-based reputation.  It is a tradition that is being proudly displayed by its residents today.

A sincere “thank you” to all who have stepped up to make sure that San Carlos remains the City of Good Living.

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