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VISTA

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VISTA participates in 2016 Delta Stand Down

By | Center for Community and Economic Development, VISTA | No Comments

On Sept. 10, members and staff with the VISTA project at Delta State University’s Center for Community and Economic Development joined efforts with the Gulf Coast Veterans Advocacy Council, Inc. and the Washington County Board of Supervisors to host the 2016 Delta Stand Down for more than 400 participants in recognition of National Day of Service and Remembrance.

On the 15th anniversary of 9/11, a total of 15 agencies provided services and connected more than 300 veterans and their families to health, education and federal benefits. Some of these agencies included the Division of Medicaid, Veterans Association of Memphis, VA Hospital of Jackson, Humana, Mississippi Valley State University and the American Red Cross.

More than 20 volunteers from the Washington County area assisted with preparing lunch for attendees, helping exhibitors and issuing supplies to veterans, such as blankets, boots, backpacks and sleeping bags

Eric Simmons, mayor of Greenville; Kenneth Johnson, mayor of Mound Bayou; and several members of the Washington County Board of Supervisors participated in the Stand Down.

Learn more about VISTA at http://www.deltastate.edu/academics/graduate-and-continuing-studies/center-for-community-economic-development/mdscamericorpsvolunteers-in-service-to-america/.

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AmeriCorps*VISTA seeking fulltime members

By | Center for Community and Economic Development, Community, General, Students, VISTA | No Comments

In its fight against poverty, the AmeriCorps*VISTA program, under the direction of Linda Stringfellow, is now accepting applications for full-time members.

Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) members focus on building sustainable programs by strengthening an organization’s infrastructure, expanding community partnerships and securing long-term resources.

In exchange for a 12-month commitment to service, VISTA members will receive a modest living stipend, an end-of-term education award or cash stipend, free health insurance, student loan forbearance or deferment, skills development and much more.

In combatting illiteracy, health concerns and economic despair, some VISTA efforts may include implementing marketing campaigns, coordinating educational workshops, recruiting other volunteers, or organizing fundraising efforts.

Openings in Sunflower, Washington, Coahoma, Tunica, Panola, Leflore, Holmes and Yazoo counties are waiting to be filled.

If you’re at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen, apply to the Mississippi Delta Service Corps/AmeriCorps*VISTA Program at www.nationalservice.gov, and select “I’m Ready to Serve.” You may also visit the Center for Community & Economic Development at Delta State, located on 1417 College St. in Cleveland.

For more information, contact Lakisha L. Butler, program associate for marketing and recruiting, at 662-846-4848 or e-mail kbutler@deltastate.edu.

Volunteers sort and pack personal hygiene bags for the homeless Monday on Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Center for Community and Economic Development.

AmeriCorps*VISTA puts citizenship and service in action

By | Center for Community and Economic Development, VISTA | No Comments

AmeriCorps*VISTA at Delta State University led 20 Delta residents in sorting donations for the National Point in Time Count of the Homeless to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy on Monday. VISTA members and staff were joined by hundreds of thousands of volunteers across the country on this national day of service.

“Today we answer Dr. King’s call to serve and are making a difference in the lives of Delta residents,” said Lakisha L. Butler, program associate for Marketing & Recruitment for AmeriCorps*VISTA at the Center for Community and Economic Development at Delta State. “A resourceful way to meet local needs, volunteer service is a powerful tool that builds strong communities. We are putting the core American principles of citizenship and service into action.”

AmeriCorps*VISTA members, staff and AmeriCorps alumni and service providers joined efforts to prepare over 150 personal hygiene bags that will be distributed during the National Point in Time Count of People Experiencing Homelessness.

The Count is mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for communities across the country to receive funding. The count is an important effort to make sure the voices of people experiencing homelessness are heard and efforts are made to provide appropriate services. It also helps communities develop more effective plans and measure progress toward ending homelessness.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that leads the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, working with the King Center in Atlanta and thousands of nonprofit groups, faith-based organizations, schools and businesses nationwide.

These projects include delivering meals, refurbishing schools and community centers, collecting food and clothing, signing up mentors, reading to children, promoting nonviolence and more.

The day shines a spotlight on service as a powerful force to bridge economic and social divides — today and throughout the year. Many communities will also engage in dialogue to explore ways to address important issues.

“National Days of Service provide each of us with an opportunity to join neighbors and local leaders to tackle community challenges and strengthen the nation,” said Butler.

CNCS engages more than five million Americans in service through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the president’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve.

For more information, visit www.NationalService.gov.

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VISTA accepting applications for sites and members

By | VISTA | No Comments

In its fight against poverty, the AmeriCorps*VISTA program, under the direction of Linda Stringfellow, is now accepting applications for project host sites and fulltime members.

Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) members focus on building sustainable programs by strengthening an organization’s infrastructure, expanding community partnerships and securing long-term resources.

The requirements and cost for a partnership with the VISTA Program begin with the assignment of a site supervisor. Responsibilities include creating a work plan, ensuring that performance is aligned with specific goals and objectives, and attending required trainings for continued success as a VISTA host site.

VISTA members will receive, in exchange for a 12-month commitment to service, a modest living stipend, an end of term education award or cash stipend, student loan forbearance or deferment, priceless skill development and much more.

In combatting illiteracy, health concerns and economic despair, some VISTA efforts may include implementing marketing campaigns, coordinating educational workshops, recruiting other volunteers or even responding to disasters.

Those interested in the program are invited to attend a “Getting to Know Us” session conducted by Program Associate for Marketing and Recruiting, Lakisha L. Butler.  Call 662-846-4848 or e-mail kbutler@deltastate.edu for more information.

 

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Organizations looking for AmeriCorps*VISTA applicants

By | Center for Community and Economic Development, Community, Faculty/Staff, Students, VISTA | No Comments

By Lakisha L. Butler
Delta State University Center for Community & Economic Development

Lakisha Butler

Lakisha Butler

Do you ever wonder why impoverished communities are so oppressed by conditions? It’s because these communities lack training, resources and strategic plans needed to counteract the indigence and apathy. Are you inspired to help break the cycle? You can be one of over 170,000 AmeriCorps*VISTA members serving faithfully and working fervently to destroy the innate succession of poverty.

Are you doubtful that your contributions will make a difference? The skepticism stops today.

Becoming a VISTA member means you can help initiate an adult literacy awareness campaign and engage volunteer tutors. Imagine your elderly neighbor, who has only ever been able to identify himself with an X, signing his name for the first time.

Becoming a VISTA member means you can help develop health education initiatives for low-income individuals. Envision children, adults and elderly individuals living happier lives and having healthy futures.

Becoming a VISTA member means you can help coordinate projects that develop unemployed and underemployed individuals in communities. Picture individuals and families without an income to obtain food, clothes and shelter breathing an extended sigh of relief from the knowledge a VISTA member provided at a free workshop or educational session.

Becoming a VISTA member means that you can make a difference!

There are openings in surrounding counties that need to be filled immediately. Not-for-profit agencies are seeking applicants with written and oral communication proficiency, strong computer literacy, strong coordinating and organizing abilities, and strong public relations skills. Interested individuals should complete and submit an online application at www.americorps.gov to be considered. Selected applicants will begin a rewarding year of service in November.

Upon becoming an AmeriCorps*VISTA member, individuals will receive a variety of heartening benefits, including a living allowance paid bi-weekly, health and life insurance, and work-related travel reimbursement. Contingent with service completion, members may choose either a $5,550 education award or a $1,500 cash stipend.

For more information, please visit the website at www.americorps.gov or contact the Program Recruiter at the Center for Community and Economic Development at Delta State University at 662-846-4848 or kbutler@deltastate.edu.