For Immediate Release
June 30, 2021
Contact: Cristina Valdivia Aguilar, firstname.lastname@example.org, (916) 508-9018
California Volunteers Reinforces Commitment to Statewide Volunteer Infrastructure
Grant Funding Awarded to TurnOut for LGBTQ+ Volunteer Mobilization
OAKLAND – On the last day of PRIDE Month, California Volunteers, Office of the Governor announced TurnOut has been awarded over $130,000 to continue their work and expand into Southern California. TurnOut uses a unique model to engage volunteers creating a tailored experience for a community that has been marginalized from traditional volunteer programming: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people.
“We recognize the impact volunteerism has on our communities and are committed to ensure service opportunities are accessible to all Californians, especially those who have traditionally been left out,” said California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday. “Governor Newsom’s investment in service will allow us to implement this new strategy to engage thousands of volunteers to tackle our greatest challenges.”
As part of California Volunteers’ statewide effort to expand volunteer infrastructure with first-time ongoing funding support, California Volunteers will grant $850,000 annually to support volunteer recruitment and engagement to support #CaliforniansForAll, Governor Gavin Newsom’s call to service. The funding, known as the #CaliforniansForAll Innovation Grant: Enhancing Local Volunteer Cadre for COVID-19 Recovery has been awarded to organizations who applied and demonstrated the ability to create and implement a strategy to bring together a cadre of individuals who commit to volunteering. Volunteers will assist their community and neighborhoods across a myriad of issues such as food insecurity, education, climate change and disasters.
“As queer and trans people, we depend on our nonprofits in a profound way,” said Jack Beck, Founder and Executive Director of TurnOut. “Often unable to rely on mainstream institutions or our biological families for support, queer and trans people have stepped up to fill the gap by creating grassroots organizations to meet our basic needs and expand our horizons. Many of these organizations depend on volunteers to provide their services, and TurnOut works to ensure that they have the support they need. We are thrilled to work with the California Volunteers team to expand this work statewide, and we look forward to mobilizing volunteers to support the incredible queer and trans organizations working across Southern California.”
Volunteerism makes a vast difference in the lives of those served as well as those who volunteer. This funding will assist TurnOut and other organizations with the ability to strengthen individual volunteer experiences while also building strong communities centered around service.
“While volunteering brings a direct and tangible benefit to the communities we serve, it also impacts the volunteers themselves. For us, members of LGBTQ+ communities, volunteering helps us find ourselves,” said Jesus Ramirez-Valles, SF State University Health Equity Institute Director. “Through it, we create a sense of ourselves and a caring community. In volunteering, we find community in the spiritual sense – in that we are part of something bigger than us, that what matters is not the “I” but the “we.” Volunteering provides us, queer folks, a purpose, an identity, and a group of supportive peers.”
Led by California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday, California Volunteers, Office of the Governor empowers Californians to take action to improve their communities. #CaliforniansForAll is a California Volunteers service initiative launched in response to COVID-19 to establish a volunteer corps to support the state’s response to emergencies and disasters.