For 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.
The 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.
Homelessness 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.
Miranda 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’ 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.
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.
As 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!
Cornerstone Ranch is a unique home and day program for adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. This family-centered environment creates a safe place where independence thrives, character grows, and confidence is nurtured. Located on 42 acres just outside of McKinney, Texas, Cornerstone’s 10,000-square-foot residential home comfortably accommodates seven adults with disabilities residentially and two highly integrated care giving families. The Cornerstone staff strives to help each resident and day program participant feel loved, respected, and safe. Cornerstone Ranch exists to enable the residents and day program participants to experience three core values: Community integration – Be productive members of our local community by serving others; Abundant life – Live an abundant life through which they realize their God-given potential and enjoy every day to its fullest; and Family-centered Environment – Experience the joy of living with people who truly love them and celebrate their lives. . The Outreach and Development VISTA at Cornerstone Ranch will build capacity by increasing community awareness of the agency and increasing financial support through events and grant writing efforts to raise at least $100,000 to support programming needs. The VISTA will work with the organization to develop plans for events, solicit sponsorships and in-kind support, create logistical strategies and develop post-evaluation processes for each special event. To learn more about Cornerstone Ranch, visit http://www.cornerstone-ranch.com/.
Build healthy families and a strong North Texas community by preventing child abuse and neglect. Recruit and train volunteers to serve with Family Compass in Dallas, TX.
The mission of Family Compass is to build healthy families and a strong North Texas community by preventing child abuse and neglect. The primary goals of our mission are to protect the innocence of children; prevent abuse and neglect in our community; and preserve our future by keeping children safe and building strong families. We are the largest nonprofit in North Texas dedicated solely to the mission of child abuse prevention services with the purpose of keeping vulnerable children from entering the overburdened child welfare system. In 2016, 95% of our children (763) did not get referred into the Child Protective Services system. We believe every child is born with the fundamental right to a healthy family and a stable environment; the opportunity to succeed in school; and the capacity to experience life without violence. Our organization enters the lives of vulnerable children at-risk for abuse and provides parents with clinical mentoring to aid them in becoming stronger, healthier families. We served 2,011 children and parents in 2016, the highest number served annually since we were established in 1992. We’ve extended our reach in both Dallas County and Collin County through all of our primary programs. Since inception, Family Compass has assisted 46,000 parents and their children. The Volunteer Program VISTA will enhance a comprehensive volunteer management component by recruiting individuals with commitment to the Family Compass mission. Major duties include recruitment of 50 new volunteers, development and implementation of volunteer trainings, community outreach in Dallas and Collin Counties and staging regular appreciation activities To learn more about Family Compass, please visit www.family-compass.org.
Increase awareness of epilepsy and engage the community through events and fundraisers as the Community Outreach VISTA at Epilepsy Foundation Texas in Dallas, TX.
The Epilepsy Foundation Texas located in Dallas, 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 Community Outreach VISTA at Epilepsy Foundation Texas will build capacity by assisting with major awareness and fundraising events and increasing support by recruiting volunteers, creating marketing materials and writing grants and applications for sponsorships and donations. The Epilepsy Foundation Texas VISTA will play a dynamic role in ending poverty by raising awareness of epilepsy and increasing donations that will fund epilepsy clinics, educational events and camps throughout the state of Texas. To learn more about Epilepsy Foundation Texas, visit www.eftx.org.