Our Initiatives

S3E8: Dave Smith, Californians for All

Director, Californians for All
Apr 20, 2021

#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.

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The only way that we’re actually going to solve things is through collaboration and, in many cases, not worrying about who ultimately gets the credit.

In celebration of National Volunteer Week and the anniversary of Californians for All, Director Dave Smith shares about the founding of this California Volunteers initiative and how it achieved over one million volunteer hours and 600,000 meals served in its first year.

At the beginning of the pandemic, food banks and pantries faced an operations crisis when demand skyrocketed and volunteerism dropped off, sometimes up to 75%. Californians for All was launched to mobilize lower-risk individuals as volunteers and direct them toward overburdened organizations addressing food insecurity as well as other core needs like education, mental health, blood donations, and more.

To learn more about Californians for All, visit californiavolunteers.ca.gov/get-involved/covid-19.