VISTA Nicole Owens Educates Students and Families about Domestic Violence Prevention Programs


During the month of August, Nicole Owens, the Community Education VISTA serving with Denton County Friends of the Family (DCFOF) spoke with over 490 people at resource fairs in the Denton area. Informational brochures were provided to parents, students and educators. Pens with DCFOF’s crisis line were handed out at the resource fairs. Nicole explained the power and control wheel to students at the University of North Texas and told parents at various school resource fairs about the community education programs that their children could benefit from.

VISTA Member Nicole Owens Develops “Faith for Freedom” Social Media Campaign

Nicole Owens 2Nicole Owens, the Community Education VISTA at Denton County Friends of the Family (DCFOF) developed a social media fundraising event to promote the agency’s Faith for Freedom campaign. Two original designs were created for the event with a festive “freedom” theme! On Facebook, over 15,000 people were reached and over 5,000 of those liked, shared or commented on the posts. Through social media and marketing efforts, several local churches participated in this fundraising cause which was targeted specifically towards religious or faith based groups. Friends of the Family earned over $6,000 in donations during this campaign and was able to raise awareness in five local churches.


VISTA Nicole Owens Educates Students about Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

Nicole Owens 2The incoming freshmen class at the University of North Texas (UNT) is no longer in the dark about sexual assault and domestic violence after AmeriCorps VISTA, Nicole Owens, at Denton County Friends of the Family, set up an interactive table at the Dean of Students After Dark event during freshmen orientation. There have been five After Dark events in June- one for each freshmen orientation- and there will be two more events in July. The entire incoming freshmen class will have the opportunity to learn about Denton County Friends of the Family and even test their knowledge with a short true/false quiz created by Nicole. Classes may not start for a few more weeks, but the incoming freshmen have shown their skills by excelling at the sexual assault and domestic violence centered quizzes. More than 40 incoming freshmen have expressed interest in volunteering and hundreds have stopped by to ask questions and learn more about Friends of the Family.

VISTA North Texas welcomes Our New Members!

Rebecca Dake

Rebecca Dake is serving at Interfaith Ministries of Denton, Inc. as the Community Outreach VISTA. She will be assessing existing events and programs to design and implement improvements and increasing awareness of services and events through the development of new marketing and media material.



Nicole Owens 2

Nicole Owens is serving at Denton County Friends of the Family as the Community Education VISTA. She will assist with marketing of the Community Education department’s activities and presentations offered through the development of partnerships with civic groups and businesses, social media campaigns and the continued development of Speaker’s Bureau.



Adam Jones

Adam Jones is serving at Woman to Woman Pregnancy Resource Center as the New Volunteer Training VISTA. Adam will be improving current volunteer systems and procedures thus increasing retention of volunteers, developing a curriculum to thoroughly orient and train new volunteers and refining volunteer education and training in order to move volunteers from program participation to ownership.



Sarah Crain 4

Sarah Crain is serving at Woman to Woman Pregnancy Resource Center as the Logistics VISTA. Sarah will improve current operations at the agency’s resale store so that volunteers can ensure efficient transition of donated items received to the sales floor. She will be creating strategies for effective organizational policies and procedures to efficiently sort donations, creating a warehouse training curriculum, and developing an environmental stability plan for unsellable items.



Farewell and Good Luck to Kim Shields

Kimberly Shields VISTA 50th TestimonialCommunity Education VISTA Kim Shields ended her service at Denton County Friends of the Family in April. During her service, Kim completed the development of the Speakers Bureau’s volunteer training and recruited 4 new volunteers to assist the Community Education department. Kim attended many networking events as a prominent way of making connections with non-profits and businesses in Denton County. She promoted ongoing fundraising and awareness events, as well as volunteer opportunities. Kim was also instrumental in leveraging social media to market events and fundraisers at Friends of the Family. Kim accepted a position at Friends of the Family. She will be working on fundraising for
the community relations department.

Congratulations and Good Bye to our New VISTA North Texas Alumni

AmeriCorps VISTA

We are very proud to announce that our VISTAs Sarah Lehman, Nico Meyering and Amaya Howard completed their full year of national service February.

Sarah served her first year of VISTA with Denton County Friends of the Family and her second year as the VISTA North Texas VISTA Leader. Sarah is now working with Denton County Friends of the Family as a victim advocate. Nico served his VISTA year as the Community Outreach VISTA with Interfaith Ministries. Nico returned to his home in New York and is pursuing new adventures. Amaya served with Hearts for Homes as their Volunteer and Resource Development VISTA.

Thank you all for your service and dedication to the Denton County community!

Service Opportunity!

Denton County Friends of the Family LogoCommunity Education Liaison VISTA

The Community Education Liaison VISTA will assist with marketing of the activities and presentations offered by the Community Education department. The goals of the project are to increase outreach education partnerships, increase Denton County Friends of the Family’s presence and reach via social media, and create a Community Education database to record new presentations and community/health fair partnerships. The VISTA member will create awareness marketing materials for Sexual Assault Awareness month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Teen Dating Violence Awareness month and Stalking Awareness month by developing social media campaigns and community engagement opportunities. Additionally, the VISTA member will continue with volunteer recruitment for the Speakers’ Bureau and finalize the development of the recruitment and volunteer orientation and training standard operating procedures.

For a step-to-step guide on how to apply for this Service Opportunity please visit our Apply Now! Tab or Contact Us for any additional questions.

VISTA Member Impacts the Community through Domestic Violence Awareness

Kimberly Shields VISTA 50th TestimonialDenton County Friends of the Family is a non-profit agency dedicated to providing compassionate and supportive services to those impacted by relationship violence and sexual assault. In October VISTA member Kim Shields was in charge of three awareness events for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The events included The Clothesline Project, an event aimed at spreading awareness of violence against women, the Rock and Stroll awareness concert, and a social media costume contest campaign for the last week of October.

Kim solicited donations, maintained and developed relationships with venue managers, prepared volunteers for the speaker’s bureau to educate the public about domestic violence and coordinated all of the social media marketing and promotions for the events. In total, 450 people attended the 3 events.  Kim garnered $140 in cash donations and $450 in-kind donations for the events.

Denton County Friends of the Family is a partner agency of the AmeriCorps VISTA North Texas Project.

Congratulations and Goodbye to Our New Alumni!

IMG_6238We are very proud to announce that our VISTAs Erica Svenson and Marc Thompson will be completing their full year of national service at the beginning of November 2015.

Erica has spent the last year serving as the Thrift Store Outreach Coordinator VISTA for Denton County Friends of the Family located in Denton, TX. Marc served his year as the Shared Services Specialist VISTA with Serve Denton. He is now working with Goodwill Industries.

We wish them both the best!

VISTA Member Kimberly Shields Raises Awareness about Violence Against Women

Kimberly Shields VISTA 50th Testimonial1 in 3 women and 1 in 9 men in the United States will be victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives, and on average more than 3 women are murdered by their partners every day. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), and the AmeriCorps VISTA, Kimberly Shields, is in charge of planning an awareness event for Denton County Friends of the Family (DCFOF) called the Clothesline Project: a national awareness event to bring to light the prevalence of violence against women. Kimberly wrote to the national Clothesline Project to have DCFOF added to their database for future events. The Clothesline Project will send shirts to event locations nationwide for free and serves as a good resource for DCFOF. 11949513_10153589949026880_3995555038279231952_nKimberly solicited local businesses for in-kind donations of plain shirts and fabric paints to be used for the event. The resulting donations included 100 wooden clothespins, 33 shirts of varying colors, and a $50 gift card; totaling $238 of non-cash resources received. Kimberly also wrote a script for soliciting donations to be used by future VISTA members, staff and volunteers.

Denton County Friends of the Family is a partner agency of the Chisholm Trail RSVP, Inc. AmeriCorps VISTA North Texas project.