Denton 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.
Our 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.
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.
April Comperda, serving as the Drug Education VISTA at Chisholm Trail RSVP in Denton, TX continues working on the agency’s Prescription Take Back Day campaign. Even though the Take Back Days occur just twice a year, Chisholm Trail RSVP continues to stand as mechanism for change and bridge the gap all year long. Recognizing that seniors do not fit the typical stereotype of a drug abuser, Chisholm Trail RSVP understands the necessity of bringing the Take Back Days to senior living communities and senior centers. In addition, April’s mission to increase public awareness, has led her to create a media kit containing resources promote the Take Back campaign to target seniors. In addition, she secured a generous donation of 1,000 Dettera at-home disposal pouches from a nationwide pharmaceutical corporation. The pouches reinforce the dangerous effects of leaving medication in places for anyone to find. April’s efforts build the capacity and necessary sustainability to carry-out Chisholm Trail RSVP’s initiative for years to come.
Christian Community Action, located in Lewisville, TX ministers to the poor by providing comprehensive services that alleviate suffering, bring hope and change lives. Through CCA’s Job Readiness program, unemployed and underemployed individuals are taught skills needed and assistance is given connect them with better job opportunities. VISTA member Steven Tillman submitted a grant to the Walmart Foundation in September for the amount of $1,750 to aid with the expenses of Hiring Fairs and Job Readiness Program-related expenses. As a result, the Walmart Foundation awarded CCA $1,500. Steven is very excited, and plans to begin searching for other grant resources which the program can utilize. Steven’s revamp of the Job Readiness Training program is nearly complete; he is taking time to fully assess the curriculum’s logic and theories in order to address many relevant questions which could be asked by both client and trainer, alike. Though the pilot-programs both went very well from a clientele-outlook, Steven wasn’t confident that volunteer trainers would have all that they would need in order to fully engage the program’s clientele, while keeping the amount of training hours for volunteers to a minimum. With his research reflecting the core of the program curriculum’s logic and theories, he is geared to relaunch the program very soon. He is confident that the program will be even more effective at training volunteers to work with Job Readiness clientele on becoming entrenched within socioeconomic increases and with maintaining successful employment.
Denton Christian Preschool opened its doors during the month of August to welcome new 3 and 4 year olds. As the weeks progressed the children transitioned from anxious into excited and motivated learners. Since the 1970’s the organization has served thousands of at-risk children in the Denton area. AmeriCorps VISTA, Maegan Shafer, contributed to their continued success by making their online presence more viable by increasing their social media activity and updating their website. In addition to updating the information Maegan created several graphics that would advertise the Denton Christian Preschools services to be shared across all media platforms. With over 500 viewers reached we hope to increase our revenue and strategize to increase funding.
April Comperda serves as the Community Marketing VISTA with Denton County Friends of the Family (DCFOF). In July, she worked towards promoting DCFOF’s campaigns and upcoming events. The Back to School Drive was featured on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and the bimonthly newsletters. April shared the link to their Amazon Wishlist in order to create an easily accessible form of contribution. DCFOF collected 300 backpacks filled with school supplies and recruited 20 volunteers who served 72 hours to help fill them. Promoting DCFOF through social media makes a substantial impact on community responsiveness. Incorporating current social media trends, such as the Boomerang App with four second videos, is something April will be working to improve in order to increase followers, donors and volunteers.
AmeriCorps VISTA member Steven Tillman is placing his efforts towards fully staffing Christian Community Action’s Job Readiness Training Program with volunteer trainers. Theses volunteers will be needed in order to facilitate trainings not only at CCA, but also at two other nonprofit organizations; Goodwill Industries in Lewisville, and the Salvation Army of Denton County. These partnerships were secured after Steven met with representatives for both organizations and presented an overview of the Job Readiness Training and what the program offers to clients. Steven will be meeting with representatives from Texas Workforce Solutions in August. He has a goal of securing partnerships with five organizations. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in Denton County, TX 27,000 individuals are unemployed and 64,000 individuals are living in poverty. The Job Readiness Training program, with regard to this group of the population, is anchored upon teaching people methods, belief systems, best practices, and techniques for maximizing one’s employment/earning potential and then strategically navigating an action plan of elevated employment, training, and/or education until one’s desired outcomes are achieved. Such outcomes range from a person obtaining a GED diploma through information provided about such resources, to a person securing employment which pays a functional wage suited for independent living, to a person earning a promotion at work, to a person identifying a career field which best suits his/her education and training, to a person earning an advanced degree through a well-executed plan of organization and achievement while simultaneously employed.
Stephanie Del Los Santos is serving at the Epilepsy Foundation of Texas in the Houston office as the Camp and Resource Development VISTA. Stephanie keeps everyone informed of the Foundation’s activities and events through the monthly CEO Update. The CEO Update reaches over 7,000 people and includes board members, major donors, and involved participants. The Update allows the community to stay informed about the Foundation’s activities and learn about the people they serve.
VISTA leader, Marcela Solia, spent the month of June putting her artistic skills to use by creating marketing materials for recruitment events. She developed flyers and social media graphics that will be used to market each of the 8 VISTA positions that are currently open. Templates of the flyers and graphics were saved for future recruitment events. Marcela also created a pop up banner for the North Texas Project. Thorough research was done to find the best strategies for creating an aesthetic banner that also grabs the viewers’ attention. This banner will be taken to tabling events in the hopes of attracting even more potential VISTAs and partnering agencies. The more our project grows, the bigger the impact can be made on our community.