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United Way Blog

Cesar Chavez and Volunteering: Standing up for Others

At its core, volunteering means standing up for others. As the founder and president of the United Farm Workers of America, Cesar Chavez gave much of himself and his life to advocate for and to improve the lives of others. And so on March 31st, Cesar Chavez Day, we celebrate his birthday and honor his life and work by promoting service to the community.

There are many ways to celebrate a life of giving back. The American Public Education Foundation’s 9/12 Generation Project is asking students to watch this YouTube video about Cesar Chavez, and answer the question: How has Cesar Chavez inspired you to be of service to others and to never give up? Participating students in grades 6-12 have a chance to be awarded grants from The Cesar Chavez Foundation.

United Way of Silicon Valley is helping bring students out of schools and on to the streets to march in hono of Chavez. United Way volunteers will join Alum Rock Union School District (ARUSD), Somos Mayfair, and other United Way community partners to celebrate the life and legacy of Cesar Chavez at the annual Cesar Chavez Day March and Program. Students from across East San Jose will march to the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza waiving United Farm Worker Flags and celebratory posters reminding the community of Chavez’ rallying cry “Si Se Puede/Yes, We Can!”. United Way volunteers will help with traffic control and safety, setting up the march, walking with the students and greeting participants as they arrive at the plaza.  Last year, more than 50 United Way volunteers and 1,700 students, parents, and other community members participated in the event, which included remarks from the Chavez family, student poetry, and traditional dances and performances.

Chavez was an extraordinary man who changed history. You, too, can make a difference for one person, or for many. Stand up for others. Volunteer.