…opportunities to sponsor an AmeriCorps VISTA! Our current VISTA team may be finished in November, but that doesn’t mean the work of VISTAs in this area is over. In fact, it’s just getting started. Keep reading to find out how YOU can become a sponsor of a Volunteer in Service to America!
What is AmeriCorps VISTA?
If you’ve followed our blog, you may have an idea of the impact AmeriCorps VISTAs (Volunteers in Service to America) can have on a community. If you’re just tuning in, I’m here to tell you all about it!
AmeriCorps VISTA is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service. With the ultimate goal of breaking the cycle of poverty, AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers act as capacity builders working with nonprofit organizations to recruit and manage community volunteers, raise funds, and help manage projects. VISTA members support programs that improve academic performance, expand job opportunities, develop financial assets, reduce homelessness, and improve health services. They also support programs that increase housing opportunities, increase economic opportunities for low-income veterans and military families, and expand access to technology for those living in rural and urban areas of poverty across America.
For more information, visit http://AmeriCorps.gov/VISTA.
Why should I sponsor a VISTA?
We empathize with the ever-present dilemma of wanting to execute a project but just not having the staff or resources to do so. Sponsoring a VISTA is the opportunity for you if your organization could use a fulltime volunteer to build its capacity in any of the following ways:
Recruit, support, and mobilize volunteers
Plan and direct programs
Establish community partnerships
Enhance print and social marketing
How do I get involved?
HWCT invites your non-profit organization to participate in the VISTA initiative taking place in the 12 counties in the North Central Pennsylvania region. Beginning in 2018, Headwaters will act as the “hub” for AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers to be placed in organizations throughout the area to develop new projects, or new aspects of existing projects, that address the needs of at-risk populations. Applications will be available for interested organizations and must be approved by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) before volunteers are assigned. Agencies will be responsible for making the final selection of the VISTA.
HWCT and sponsoring organizations will work collaboratively to support VISTA members. Sponsors will be responsible for contributing to training and administration costs. They must also provide VISTAs with resources to perform their tasks (workspace, phone, supplies, etc.), weekly supervision, and travel reimbursement. Headwaters’ role as Project Director will be to submit grants and report to CNCS, manage sponsor concerns, and share in the cost of VISTAs.
If your organization would like to be considered for a VISTA volunteer or have questions, Heather Conrad is the person to contact! You can reach her at (814) 594-2339 or firstname.lastname@example.org.