VISTA Hannah McNeill Assists with Month of Events for Woman to Woman and Twice as Nice Resale

img_1137What an eventful month for VISTA Hannah McNeill serving at Woman to Woman Pregnancy Resource Center in Denton! Hannah assisted Twice as Nice Resale (TANR) at the 2nd annual Denton Bridal Show. Hannah managed 11 volunteers modeling for the Denton bridal show. Her duties included contacting all volunteers and creating the schedule for model volunteer fittings, the organization of volunteer dresses to be used and transported to the show, as well as creating the spreadsheets used by the bridal show coordinator the day of the event.   Hannah assisted the volunteer coordinator in booth preparations for the event and assisted in outreach for the organization at the booth during the event where over 300 brides were present.  Hannah completed all of this while also planning and scheduling social media posts to go out before the event and the day of to market TANR with hopes of building capacity through growth in volunteers and customers. Later on in the month, the organization also participated in the National holiday of Sanctity of Human Life. The goal of this event is create awareness of our services in the community as well as recruit volunteers through 9 different table set ups with local participating organizations.  Hannah assisted the event coordinator in creating materials that would draw new volunteers and organized the suitcases containing materials for the booths, such as brochures, business cards, and other necessary items. Each suitcase was picked up by an existing volunteer who manned the table in the community. By preparing these materials for outreach, the volunteers were able to more easily share with others about Woman to Woman, and we received over 20 volunteer interest cards.  It was a great start to the year!

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VISTA Tackles New Awareness Month for Denton County Friends of the Family

Nicole Owens 2January is Stalking Awareness Month, and VISTA Nicole Owens helped to spread awareness of this often overlooked but very serious issue in coordination with her service site, Denton County Friends of the Family. Stalking awareness content and resources were posted to social media, reaching nearly 8,000 people on Facebook. Nicole brought attention to frightening new technology stalkers use to track and harass their victims. Knowledge of stalking and stalkers helps to create awareness in the community about the seriousness of the issue and provides important information to the community about unsafe technology.

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!

Serve Denton’s Mayors’ Day of Concern for the Hungry Update

Marc and PatServe Denton is a non-profit agency in Denton, TX dedicated to helping other non-profit agencies achieve their missions and advance the common good of Denton County through co-location, collaboration and communication. VISTA member Marc Thompson was instrumental in the success of the 2015 Mayors’ Day of Concern for the Hungry (MDOC).  This year’s event netted $4,220 in donated cash. This money was divided among the 9 local Denton nonprofit agencies whose mission is in line with the MDOC:  Our Daily Bread, Vision Ministries, Giving Hope Inc., First Refuge, SPAN, Inc. /Meals on Wheels of Denton County, Health Services of North Texas, Denton Community Food Center and The Shepard’s Hand. Each agency received a $469 donation that will enable them to continue their operation and help serve their clients. The event also collected over 32,000 pounds of food that was distributed to food pantries and soup kitchens throughout Denton County.

Serve Denton is a partner agency of the VISTA North Texas project hosted by Chisholm Trail RSVP, Inc.

VISTA Member’s Dedication to Denton County Food Drive Makes a Big Impact

Marc receiving check for Serve DentonServe Denton  is a non-profit agency in Denton, TX dedicated to helping other non-profit agencies achieve their missions and advance the common good of Denton County through co-location, collaboration and communication. VISTA member Marc Thompson spent months planning Serve Denton’s Annual Mayor’s Day of Concern for the Hungry, a food drive to benefit local food pantries.  Marc was tasked with the coordination and implementation of the food drive with the goal of expanding the reach and impact to include all of Denton County. Marc created a coalition of businesses, nonprofit agencies and city leaders from Denton and Lewisville in planning the food drive to raise food donations for 15 food pantries across Denton County. Marc took the message to the streets to create a “buzz” that would lead to big impact using marketing, community engagement, business development and education.

Marc recruited 56 volunteers who served 167 hours the week of the drive. He also led a group of 36 volunteers at a 32,000 sq. ft. warehouse that was donated for the event for storage and sorting of the donated food.

Over the course of the weeklong event, 32,000 pounds of food were collected and distributed to food pantries throughout Denton County.  The event also brought in cash donations totaling $12,200. In comparison, the 2014 Mayor’s Day of Concern for the Hungry event raised 13,000 pounds of food benefitting food pantries in the City of Denton.

Marc and PatOn April 21st, Marc organized a press conference which was emceed by Denton’s Mayor Chris Watts to announce the total donations received through the 2015 Mayor’s Day of Concern for the Hungry.  Over 50 people were in attendance including numerous non-profit agencies, three media outlets and the AmeriCorps Vista North Texas Team who volunteered as ushers and assisted with the event’s set-up and breakdown. He also enlisted Corner Bakery to donate the catering for the event. Later that evening, the Denton City Council presented Serve Denton with a Mayor’s Proclamation honoring the successful event.

Serve Denton is a partner agency of the VISTA North Texas project hosted by Chisholm Trail RSVP, Inc.

VISTA Member Builds a Denton County-wide Food Drive!

IMG_6234Serve Denton is a non-profit agency in Denton, TX dedicated to helping other non-profit agencies achieve their missions and advance the common good of Denton County through co-location, collaboration and communication.

Over 104,000 Denton County residents do not know where their next meal will come from, including 10% of seniors and 18% of children. This year, Mayor Chris Watts will declare April 21st, 2015, the fourth annual Mayor’s Day of Concern for the Hungry. From April 14-20, Denton County residents will donate nonperishable food to benefit organizations that serve food to people in need in Denton County communities.

VISTA Member Marc Thompson is coordinating this annual food drive and is working hard at making this event county-wide instead of the traditional City of Denton event. Marc has recruited several new partners to serve as drop-off locations for donated food: Forrestwood Middle School and Sam Pack Five Star Ford in Lewisville, Galilee Baptist Church in Sanger,  Honda of Denton in the City of Denton, to name a few. With the addition of these drop-off locations, there will be an increase in hunger awareness issues in the County which will result in increased food donations for local food pantries.  Marc also created a significant partnership with Ryan Davenport at Scott Brown Properties to donate 20,000 sq. ft. of space to process, sort and redistributed the food donations. This partnership is significant in building the foundation of this event and gives an idea of what type of collaboration and impact we can have when we work as one people.

To see a full list of agencies and food pantries who will benefit from the Mayor’s Day of Concern for the Hungry food drive as well as all drop off locations, please visit the Serve Denton website, http://servedenton.org/mdoc/.

Serve Denton is a partner agency of the Chisholm Trail RSVP, Inc. AmeriCorps VISTA Intermediary Project.