Volunteers In Service To America, or VISTA, was founded in 1965 with a rather lofty goal – to bring communities out of poverty. 45 years later, the fight against poverty in America rages on. Last month I talked about the start of this year’s search for new partners in this fight. Now we have just a few days until applications are due and I’m hopeful that we’ll see some organizations that are engaging in creative programs to overcome poverty.
Reviewing applications from organizations interested in partnering with our VISTA program is always an exciting time. We start by reading each application. From there we generate questions to help us learn more about the organization and proposed VISTA project. Every organization approaches poverty in a very different way and it’s always interesting to learn about new organizations and understand more about how communities are impacted by their service. The best part of the review process will start in January when site visit season begins. Each organization that submits an application and meets the first level of screening will receive a site visit. During that site visit, we have the opportunity to ask questions face to face, see the office space, and maybe even meet some clients. The site visit is an opportunity for all parties to learn more about the potential partnership and to gauge if there is a good fit for a VISTA service year.
So let the countdown begin! Applications are due Friday and I can’t wait to share some of what we learn this year.