New VISTA Service Opportunity with Denton Christian Preschool

DentonChristianPreschoolDenton Christian Preschool (DCP), located in Denton, TX, provides early education for at-risk children in the community. Denton Christian Preschool was founded in 1970 by a group of concerned citizens, representing 17 different churches in Denton who believed the first few years of a child’s life are the most important. Since then, a group of dedicated professionals and volunteers have taught, fed, loved, and nurtured three and four year olds who are considered to be at-risk for succeeding in public school without early intervention. DCP does not discriminate based upon race, national origin, political belief, disability, color, religion, age, or sex and does not teach a specific theology, but cares for children with love and concern. Five main components make up DCP’s early childhood education program: developmentally appropriate learning activities in a classroom setting, transportation to and from school, daily nutritious meals and snacks, medical, dental, speech, and other diagnostic screenings and referrals and monthly parenting events. The Marketing and Fundraising VISTA will build capacity by developing a marketing plan to increase community awareness thus increasing student enrollment, volunteers and donors. As a Marketing and Fundraising VISTA you will be part of a cohort coordinated by the AmeriCorps VISTA North Texas project at Chisholm Trail RSVP, Inc. To learn more about Denton Christian Preschool, visit www.dentoncps.org.

The Marketing and Fundraising VISTA will increase community awareness and enhance fundraising activities to help provide early education for at-risk children in Denton, TX. Major functions will include developing a marketing plan to increase Denton Christian Preschool’s presence in the community to include the development of print materials, social media content and participation in community event. The VISTA will enhance fundraising activities and write 10 grants to raise an additional $100,000 for the education and care of at-risk children. Applicants should possess exemplary written and oral communication skills as well as experience in fundraising, marketing, and computers.

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New VISTA Service Opportunity at Our Daily Bread

Our Daily Bread LogoOur Daily Bread (ODB), a community soup kitchen located in Denton, Texas, provides an average of 300 meals per day along with health and human services to the hungry, homeless and economically disadvantaged. Serving those in need for over 17 years, ODB, strives to improve the health, well-being and economic self-sufficiency of its clients. The 2017 Denton County Homeless Coalition Point-in-Time Count identified the top three needs for those experiencing homelessness as transportation, clothing/food, and food stamps. Our Daily Bread meets these three areas by providing gas vouchers and public transportation passes to those who have interviews or medical appointments, by serving seven meals per week on site, no questions asked, as well as providing weekly meals to three other local agencies, and by hosting a Tarrant Area Food Bank Social Services Specialist to answer questions and complete applications for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  In 2017, ODB distributed nearly 204,000 hygiene items; 436 shower passes; 1200 laundry vouchers; 21,422 referrals to social agencies; 232 gas vouchers; 80 prescription vouchers; 4,085 Farmer’s Market items; 993 bus vouchers. All in addition to over 86,000 meals served. The Marketing and Fund Development VISTA will build capacity by researching and writing a minimum of 4 grant proposals with a potential outcome of $60,000 and enhance current fundraising and marketing efforts through the creation of a plan that will result in improved community outreach, awareness and support. As a Marketing and Fund Development VISTA you will be part of a cohort coordinated by the AmeriCorps VISTA North Texas project at Chisholm Trail RSVP, Inc. To learn more about Our Daily Bread, visit www.ourdailybreaddenton.org.

The Marketing and Fund Development VISTA at Our Daily Bread will increase community awareness and enhance fundraising to provide more clients with nutritious meals and basic needs services. The VISTA will increase fundraising efforts through the research, writing and submission of a minimum of 4 grant proposals that persuasively communicate ODB’s mission and programs to potential funders and garner a potential outcome of $60,000. The VISTA will enhance fundraising efforts by developing a plan to increase donors and participation in fundraising events, will create and update collateral marketing materials and improve current social media communications to include the development of new social media avenues to communicate with targeted audiences. Applicants should possess good communication skills, be proficient with social media marketing and have basic computer skills.

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VISTA Lays the Groundwork for Youth Summer Camp

Cailli PerryCailli Perry, a Drug Awareness and Prevention VISTA, is serving with STOMP (Standing Together on Meth Prevention), located in rural Jacksboro Texas. STOMP’s primary focus is to educate the communities of Jack County and create a greater awareness of the dangers of methamphetamine use, crime awareness, and prevention. The non-profit organization has developed a new summer program called “Xtreme Challenge Camp.” The leadership camp will provide 50 youth (6th-8th grade) the opportunity to learn various leadership/teamwork skills (i.e., CPR/certification, fire safety/rescue, outdoor survival skills, and much more), throughout the week of June 4th-8th. For the camp, Cailli created a youth camper registration packet and camp schedule. She, also created a database for the organization to use in order to keep track of the event’s budget/details, the youth campers as they register, and the adult sponsors/volunteers who sign-up to guide the organization in running a safe and successful camp. This upcoming summer, Xtreme Challenge Camp will help these youth develop positive attitudes in the hope they will make smart choices as they continue to grow up and live their lives.

New VISTA Service Opportunity with Christian Community Action

CCA Logo_LargeFor more than 40 years, Christian Community Action (CCA) has been healing, feeding, and educating families in need throughout Collin, Dallas, Denton, Tarrant and Wise counties in North Texas. Headquartered in Lewisville, TX, CCA is one of the largest private nonprofits in North Texas, providing more than 10,000 individual services each year. Through careful case management, CCA’s holistic approach from rescue to transition helps families in need achieve self- sufficiency by offering a “hand-up” instead of a hand-out. Available programs include: the Food Pantry, Spiritual Care and Counseling, Vocational/Education Services, Case Management Services and Seasonal Programs. The Grant Writing and Social Media Marketing VISTA at CCA will build the agency’s capacity through grant research and development of new funding relationships as well as developing a social media campaign to increase donor engagement and community awareness. The VISTA will write a minimum of 10 grants proposals with a potential outcome of $250,000. As a Christian Community Action Grant Writing and Social Media Marketing VISTA you will be part of a cohort coordinated by the AmeriCorps VISTA North Texas project at Chisholm Trail RSVP, Inc. To learn more about Christian Community Action, visit http://www.ccahelps.org.

The Grant Writing and Social Media Marketing VISTA at Christian Community Action will build the agency’s capacity through grant research and development of new funding relationships and development of a social media campaign to increase donor engagement and community awareness. The VISTA will identify new funding opportunities and write a minimum of 10 grant proposals for a potential outcome of $250,000 to foundations and other grant-making organizations that persuasively communicate Christian Community Action’s mission and programs. The VISTA will create and implement a social media campaign strategy designed to increase donor engagement online as well as client and donor awareness of the mission and services, resulting in an increase of online donations by 20% and new Facebook likes by 20 a month. Applicants should possess excellent verbal and written communication skills, proficiency in research and basic grant writing knowledge and be familiar with social media platforms.

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New Service Opportunity at Epilepsy Foundation Texas in Houston

10612904_1061535403886503_2042991343811989065_nThe Epilepsy Foundation Texas located in Houston, Texas leads the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures and save lives. Established in 1983, the Epilepsy Foundation Texas-Houston/Dallas-Fort Worth/West Texas provides a number of programs and services, including: public and professional education and awareness programs, camp and recreation programs for people with epilepsy and their families and specialized medical care throughout the state. As the largest non-government support of epilepsy research, the Epilepsy Foundation is leading the fight to stop seizures, find a cure and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy. We fund research that is focused on a cure for epilepsy and aimed at eliminating seizures, side-effects and other consequences of epilepsy. The Program Resource Development VISTA at Epilepsy Foundation Texas will build capacity through the development of new funding streams and recruitment of volunteers for camp programs and medical clinics. AmeriCorps VISTA members perform only indirect service; interaction with clients will be limited and the member will spend the majority of his or her time in an office setting. However, the Epilepsy Foundation Texas VISTA will play a dynamic role in ending poverty by increasing stakeholder and community engagement outreach activities. As an Epilepsy Foundation Texas Program Resource Development VISTA you will be part of a cohort coordinated by the AmeriCorps VISTA North Texas project at Chisholm Trail RSVP, Inc. Early applications strongly encouraged. To learn more about Epilepsy Foundation Texas, visit http://www.eftx.org.

As a VISTA at Epilepsy Foundation Texas in Houston you will help families and individuals living with epilepsy receive excellent programs and services such as medical clinics and camp programs. Major activities include researching and writing grants benefitting camp programs and medical clinics. The VISTA will build on the success of camp and clinic programs to increase overall community outreach through the development of processes, presentation and training materials/manuals used for outreach and retention of donors, campers and volunteers, etc. VISTAs serve their communities through indirect service. Applicants should possess excellent written and oral communication skills, community organization and grant writing skills.

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Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance VISTA Develops Youth Action Board to Address Youth Homelessness

IMG_12511Homelessness can be both visible and invisible. When there are encampments under the freeways, homelessness is visible. But when someone goes to school every day for a hot meal, or couch surfs for weeks on end that is when homelessness is invisible. Youth Homelessness is often invisible, and receiving feedback from young people who have experienced homelessness is imperative to finding a sustainable solution to it. As a result, Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance’s AmeriCorps VISTA member, Victoria Jackson, has founded a Youth Action Board (YAB) that consists of individuals under the age of 25 who have experienced homelessness, foster care, or unstable housing. The YAB’s inaugural meeting was held in March, and Victoria facilitated the meeting as the members connected across agencies, discussed goals for the group, and possible marketing techniques to get more Youth Experts involved in the YAB. For their next meeting in April, they will establish governance if a quorum is present. The YAB will elect a Chair who will attend the Continuum of Care board meetings and report back to the group, as well as facilitate meetings and activities in which the YAB wishes to participate.

Youth and Family Counseling VISTA Writes Grants to Benefit Homeless and At-Risk Children

img_0858-003.pngMiranda Bonilla is a Resource Development VISTA with Youth and Family Counseling in Lewisville, TX. Youth and Family Counseling provides sliding scale and free services to low-income at-risk youth. She has been busy marketing for the agency’s many upcoming scheduled fundraisers by creating and distributing flyers. She has written and submitted a grant to the Build a Bear Foundation that, if funded, will provide weekly on-site group and individual counseling sessions to homeless and at-risk teens as identified by Journey to Dream and  Kyle’s Place, the county’s first teen homeless shelter. Miranda also found success in the request for funding proposal she submitted in February to the Speedway Children’s Charities. For the first time in recent history, Youth and Family Counseling has been invited to officially apply to this grant. If granted, the funding will benefit the agency’s First Offender and At Risk Kids (FOARK) Program. In a true act of altruism, Miranda held a Facebook birthday fundraiser in honor of her birthday and raised $200 for Youth and Family Counseling.

NewDay Services Community Outreach VISTA Continues to Increase Awareness and Develop Partnerships

IMG_1259NewDay Services’ Fatherhood EFFECT program strives to prevent child abuse and ease the burdens of poverty for children and families. Community Outreach VISTA, Meghan Kajihara continues to increase awareness and develop partnerships to help the agency achieve their goals. In March, she secured the Fatherhood: EFFECT program a place at the Mobile Food Pantry’s Resource Fair in Denton, TX and was able to share information with the 250+ people who visited. She was pleased to notice that her efforts have built the program’s brand recognition. Visitors to the food pantry have begun to recognize the mentor-navigators by name and as well as the agency’s mission. In addition, Meghan and the Fatherhood: EFFECT mentor-navigators met with the Executive Director and Program Coordinators of Our Daily Bread, a local soup kitchen. Meghan has was elated to have been able to set up this meeting to share information about NewDay Services, and even more so to have finally been able to set up a recurring outreach/tabling date with Our Daily Bread. Having a standing appointment to do outreach once a month will help build a sense of recognition and community between their programs. Furthermore, the meeting she coordinated went so well, that Our Daily Bread is eager to expand this nascent partnership by hosting a special Nurturing Fathers class for their clientele.

Collin County History Museum’s VISTA Begins Creating Curriculum for Summer and After-School Programs Benefiting Low-Income Children

Keith Uselton (2)Keith Uselton, the Curriculum and Development VISTA for the Collin County History Museum, began laying the foundation for the organization’s 3-year project by creating a working outline of curriculum for a 6-week summer program as well as one for an 8 week after-school program for elementary school children. He is working with the organization’s executive director, Mary Strother, and Sarah Gonzoles, a local elementary school counselor, to begin identifying a base of student participants to be served by the programming he has written. Keith researched and compiled a list of local historical sites and museums within Collin County that might serve as a guiding resource for himself and future VISTAs as far as what type of programming and resources are available to the McKinney community. He began to lay the foundation for securing grants and funding to finance the museum’s summer and after-school programming by meeting with and introducing himself to the Collin County Historical Commission which has served as a financial source of funding for the museum in the recent past.

VISTA Creates A Strong Process to Prepare and Host Volunteer Service Groups

Publication2As VISTA Jennifer Annen nears the end of her service with Woman to Woman Pregnancy Resource Center, she is working to make sure that all of her hard work is sustainable and guarantees success in the future. In the month of March, Jennifer focused on one of the most important ways to interact with the community and recruit new volunteers- service groups. After Jennifer facilitated a group of 20 volunteers from a local church who came in to paint the entire Twice as Nice Resale store, she realized how important it is to maintain a strong process in preparing for and hosting groups. In just March alone, groups collectively served over 100 hours, which left Twice as Nice looking refreshed and also inspired the staff to rearrange the store’s departments. Not only does having a more attractive store lead to greater customer retention and sales, but it also helps staff to see the value in our community partners and encourages them to make one-time volunteers into individuals who would likely serve again, maybe even weekly. Jennifer feels confident that after her term ends, the Twice as Nice staff will feel confident in facilitating groups using her planning guide, which includes a step-by-step process and easy to follow flowchart. Overall, VISTA Jennifer is thrilled to see the impact of her training guides, but she also is excited to see how they can help grow the entire Woman to Woman volunteer base!