More than 46 million Americans live in poverty. In an effort to address the personal and community challenges associated with poverty, AmeriCorps VISTA members help local non-profits to build capacity through program, resource & volunteer development to alleviate poverty in cities across our nation.
Untied Way of the Piedmont has served as the project sponsor for the AmeriCorps VISTA grant for eight years. Our team of VISTA members (ranging in size from 12-25) is selected annually from a pool of highly qualified candidates who wish to effect change in our community. Each VISTA member makes a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. In return for their service, AmeriCorps VISTA members receive a modest living allowance and health benefits during their service, and have the option of receiving a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award or post-service stipend after completing their service. Across the country, about 8,000 VISTAs are placed each year in more than 1,100 projects in low-income communities around the country.
VISTA members do not provide direct services, such as tutoring children or building homes. Instead, they focus their efforts on building the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, and otherwise assist low-income communities. VISTAs develop programs to meet a need, write grants, and recruit and train volunteers.
Beginning in 2014, the focus of the VISTA class was redefined to create a larger and more sustainable impact on the Piedmont community. All VISTAs are focused on projects that relate to one of two areas – improving access to Behavioral Health Care or improving community Financial Stability. In addition to their agency-specific duties, the VISTA class unites once per week to dedicate their time and talents to a community project as it relates to their focus area.
The VISTA class will continue to concentrate on building partnerships to grow Spartanburg, Cherokee & Union Counties capacity alleviating poverty.
Want to learn more? Visit VISTAs in the Piedmont to learn about specific projects and openings.
Ready to serve? Enroll now with the Corporation for National & Community Service.