Saying Goodbye

On Wednesday the VM Support Team made our way down to Sandy Point State Park to meet up with the VISTAs one last time and say our goodbyes.  The VISTAs will be ending their service year on July 29 and we wanted to celebrate their successes of the past year and send them off in style.  You mostly hear about the VMCs on this blog because Corrine and I work with the VMC program, but our VISTAs have done some great things this year too.  Together, our 12 VISTAs have developed or expanded 84 projects or programs, created 59 new inter-agency partnerships, and obtained $208,802 in cash and in-kind resources to support ten sponsor agencies in Maryland.  While our VMCs focus solely on volunteer coordination, the VISTAs worked in program evaluation, marketing and technology, and fundraising, providing services to over 8,000 community members this year.  As the VISTAs close out their service year, let’s take a brief look at what they’ve done for their service organizations:

Andrea Calderon worked to develop partnerships between the Parks and People Foundation’s Schoolyard Greening Program and 16 Baltimore City Schools and also garnered $20,000 in cash and in-kind resources for Parks and People.

Katie Dix coordinated the Community Greening Resource Network (CGRN) for the Parks and People Foundation, facilitated numerous volunteer work days, workshops, seed and plant giveaway days, and special events, and also secured $41,150 in cash and in-kind resources to support CGRN members and gardens throughout Baltimore.

Kate Harris led fundraising efforts for the American Red Cross Lower Shore Chapter and also led the Red Cross Month committee to raise awareness of the services provided by the American Red Cross.

Lisa Kipersztok developed service-learning materials for Anne Arundel County Public Schools and led the effort to implement a new service-learning database for the school system.  She also garnered $10,290 in cash and in-kind resources to support the development of the Outdoor Learning Classroom at Bates Middle School.

Ashley McDonald developed and implemented an alumni survey for Arts on the Block that will help them better understand the long-term impacts of their program and make improvements for the future.

Kelly Morrell developed a donor database for the Maryland Vietnamese Mutual Association, updated marketing materials, and secured $80,000 worth of grants, as well as planning the annual Academic Awards Picnic for MVMA.

Jordan Silverman developed a furniture bank for Project PLASE’s clients who are moving into permanent housing, coordinator a donor thank you event, and garnered $26,565 in grant, cash, and in-kind resources.

Lauren Stoler strengthened Project PLASE’s Speaker’s Bureau and coordinated many other community events to raise awareness of homelessness in Baltimore, as well as secured $4,863 in cash and in-kind resources.

Emily Sze led multiple online marketing campaigns for Moveable Feast, worked on social media and email campaigns, and implemented a new donor and volunteer database.

Heather Towers developed grant proposals that brought $27,500 to ShoreCAN Volunteer Center at the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, garnered an additional $6,270 in in-kind support, and managed the database, disseminating information on local nonprofits and volunteer opportunities.

Elanor Wainscott conducted 29 video interviews for NAMI which were designed to increase awareness of mental illness and its effects on those diagnosed and their family members.  She also increased NAMI’s presence in social media through YouTube and Facebook accounts.

Warren Wells redesigned the Maryland Teen Court’s website for the Citizenship Law-Related Education Program and increased CLREP’s social media presence to keep the community better informed about CLREP’s programs.  Warren also developed a list of donors and garnered $2,128 worth of in-kind donations for CLREP’s summer fundraiser.

Let’s give it up for the VISTAs!  They’ve had an amazing year and made a huge impact on their service organizations.  We will certainly miss their spirit and enthusiasm once they are gone.  Thank you, VISTAs, for all you’ve done!

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