AmeriCorps VISTA Program
United Way California Capital Region serves as one of the intermediaries in the Sacramento region for the AmeriCorps VISTA program. In partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service, we are pleased to bring 17 AmeriCorps VISTA members to our region to build capacity, expand program reach and ultimately improve the lives of those in our communities who need it most.
For more information about the AmeriCorps VISTA program in Sacramento, please contact Cole Forstedt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A healthy support system is critical for children to succeed in school. Our Healthy Meals program provides children with free, nutritious meals so they can stay on track. But, leading a healthy lifestyle goes well beyond what you eat. The children that receive food through our Healthy Meals program are learning to create healthy habits through nutrition education and enrichment activities.
Farm to Healthy Meals seed planting activity
Students at Main Avenue Elementary learn firsthand how to grow fresh produce
Healthy communities start at Square One – with healthy meals! By ensuring kids learn about good nutrition and healthy eating habits, we are helping establish a strong foundation to keep kids in school.
This week, we are celebrating the work of AmeriCorps in communities across the nation. Specific to our Sacramento region, United Way California Capital Region acts as the intermediary site by partnering with other nonprofits to place AmeriCorps VISTA members in various sites. AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) serve a one-year term in underserved communities to fight poverty by building capacity. Currently, United Way has 15 active VISTAs serving throughout the region.
The mission of the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) program is to employ direct service to build stronger communities and develop future leaders. United Way California Capital Region hosts NCCC volunteers each year to help with our annual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
By: Andrea Aguinaldo, AmeriCorps VISTA Leader
When I graduated from college, I was hungry to be part of something bigger than myself. I knew that I wanted to do this through delving into not-for-profit work. I also knew that I had yet to discover the full scope of the nonprofit world, and understand the variables and skills necessary to turn my passion into concrete actions. So I decide to join the VISTA program, a national service project with a mission to eliminate poverty, because it presented the perfect opportunity for me to learn about the dynamics of social work.
It’s National AmeriCorps Week, and we’re excited to celebrate! This year through United Way, 20 AmeriCorps VISTA members, 20 Summer Associates and 12 National Civilian Community Corps members will serve the Sacramento region! These individuals dedicate a summer or a year of their lives to bringing change to local communities across the nation. Many are assigned to projects far from where they grew up, and they gain valuable experience through their service to communities in need.
In honor of Martin Luther King Day, Sacramento VISTAs joined the annual local MLK365: March for the Dream event. MLK365 aspires to uphold Dr. King’s message of collective progress by bringing together diverse groups and individuals to connect and build valuable bonds.
Welcome 2016 AmeriCorps VISTA members
17 VISTA members will help Sacramento nonprofits build capacity
Seventeen AmeriCorps VISTA members will spread out among Sacramento-area nonprofits, providing services worth more than $381,000 for the community. AmeriCorps VISTA program is now under the umbrella of United Way California Capital Region’s services that are helping local nonprofits build capacity. The program was formerly managed by Community Link.
“VISTA members are some of the most generous people in the nation, and we are honored that 17 will be joining us in Sacramento,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “They will be important boots on the ground as we work to build the nonprofit community’s capacity to make a collective impact on the capital region’s education, financial stability and health.”
In addition to hosting several VISTA members who are focused on the collective impact work of United Way California Capital Region, we help other local organizations with the AmeriCorps VISTA process. We are proud to partner with the following organizations who also serve as hosts for AmeriCorps VISTA members:
Communities and Health Professionals Together/UCD Pediatrics
Health Education Council
Lutheran Social Services
Sacramento Chinese Community Service Center
Sacramento Loaves & Fishes
Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness
Sacramento Self Help Housing
Saint John’s Program for Real Change
Wellspring Women’s Center
WIND Youth Services
Woodland United Way
VISTA was founded in 1965 as a national service program to fight poverty in America. The acronym stands for Volunteers In Service To America. In 1993, VISTA was incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs. Today, more than 46 million Americans live in poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA taps the skills, talents and passion of more than 8,000 Americans annually to support community efforts to overcome poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA members are passionate and committed to their mission to bring individuals and communities out of poverty. Members make a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. They focus their efforts to build the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, and otherwise assist low-income communities. Learn more about the AmeriCorps VISTA program here.