Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Apr 18th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Unshakeable

cover05tentLocal volunteer coalition provides vital relief, then and now

In the aftermath of the Loma Prieta Earthquake, a coalition of community and church volunteers known as Valley Churches United Missions (VCUM) led the relief effort among San Lorenzo Valley and Scotts Valley residents.

VCUM volunteers quickly activated their disaster center and began distributing water, food, and other relief items before the Red Cross or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had even arrived. Their office became a hub of information and support for community members still reeling from the sudden trauma. It also served as a conduit for the outpouring of mutual aid that flourished after the disaster.    

“The beauty is, people set aside their differences and everyone came and helped,” says VCUM Founder and Director Annette Marcum. “It proves that we are a community … us ‘mountain people,’” she adds with a chuckle.

The spirit of volunteerism occasioned by the disaster has had impressive staying power. “Out of that earthquake we still have 25 volunteers who will be celebrating 20 years of service this year,” says Marcum.

Among them is Linda Lovelace, the current operations director of VCUM, who began volunteering shortly after the earthquake wreaked havoc in her Boulder Creek home. After containing those damages, Lovelace headed to VCUM’s disaster center to join the relief volunteers. “I had all this nervous energy, so I just came down and did whatever anybody needed me to do,” she remembers. “I’ve been here ever since.”

Take note of the funds VCUM collected and distributed:
Cash Donations: $229,2445
In Kind Donations (food, water, gear, personal items, etc): $351,059
Food Vouchers: $14,970
Food Purchases: $1,234
Home Repairs: $116,740
Medical: $452
Vehicle Repairs and Gas Vouchers: $4,647
Mortgage and Relocation: $78,166
Individual Grants: $4,150
Heat: $3,122
Burials: $1,508
Appliances and Furniture: $5,855
Total: $581,902

In sum, VCUM brought in more than one half million dollars in direct aid to the area’s earthquake victims. They served 982 families, a total of 3042 people, through their efforts.

In addition to disaster relief, VCUM operates a food pantry, provides food and transportation vouchers for low-income individuals, and offers crisis rent and mortgage assistance. They also organize school supply drives and holiday charities for families in need. The organization is 99 percent volunteer-run and operates without any government assistance.  

Marcum did not skip a beat when asked if she thinks the community would rally for another natural disaster. “Yes, and we are prepared,” she says, noting that VCUM has a list of 211 trained volunteers to call upon. “We’ve trained them to check their own property first and then come on down and get to work.

“I’d hate to see us shake, rattle, and roll again, but we know it’s going to happen,” says Marcum. “The most important thing is that we have to be prepared.”

More information about VCUM’s direct aid and humanitarian services can be found at vcum.org.
Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.

 

Waddell Creek, Al Fresco

Route One Summer Farm Dinner You’ve been buying their insanely fresh produce for years now at farmers’ markets. Right? So now why not become more familiar with the gorgeous Waddell Creek farmlands of Route One Farms?