Serve Your Community, Launch Your Career with Greater South Sound VISTA

Despite many aspects of the future looking quite unpredictable due to the COVID-19 pandemic, opportunities to serve our community’s most vulnerable abound. For over 50 years, AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) has mobilized members to where the need is greatest: to communities facing poverty, inequity, and unemployment. In a time when the COVID-19 has caused new or exacerbated existing poverty, inequity, and unemployment, AmeriCorps VISTA and our local Greater South Sound VISTA team is responding to this nationwide call for action.

Our VISTA members have played key roles in responding to this global pandemic.  They have coordinated critical COVID-19 testing, revamped food bank operations for skyrocketing demand, developed systems to keep seniors informed and connected, and distributed books to keep children reading during school closures. Since March, Greater South Sound VISTA members have leveraged over $291,600. With our 13-member team, that averages to over $22,000 per VISTA!

While the VISTAs have made critical gains in building capacity for local nonprofit and public agencies, the work is far from done. This fall, the Greater South Sound VISTA team will be mobilizing another cohort of VISTA members to serve at projects in Pierce, Thurston, and Clallam Counties.  You can be a part of continuing efforts to make positive social change while empowering communities and identifying local solutions.

Beyond the impact dedicating a year of your life to fighting poverty has on our community, VISTA service has the potential to make a profound impact for you personally and professionally. You will develop new and meaningful connections and long-lasting relationships.  The Greater South Sound team is made up of a diverse group of individuals who are all dedicated to VISTA’s mission.

VISTA also promotes professional development as one of its many benefits. You gain experience in building critical community partnerships, leveraging cash and in-kind donations, grant writing, developing volunteer systems, or other activities within a VISTA project. You will also participate in monthly training and are encouraged to participate in both local and virtual professional development opportunities. Following your year of service, you will have gained new tools and knowledge to help you pursue your professional goals and build connections so you can stay informed of opportunities. Our alumni have gone on to public agencies like local Health Departments, fellowships like Fulbright, law school and other graduate programs, nonprofits like United Way, and much more.

By joining the Greater South Sound VISTA team, you can serve your community and start your career. Our community needs you to be a catalyst for change. Apply to serve with the Greater South Sound VISTA team to make a difference and go where you are truly needed.

Greater South Sound VISTA is a program of United Way of Thurston County. United Way of Thurston County mobilizes the caring power of our community to fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our community.

By Lindsay Fujimoto
Lindsay Fujimoto Volunteer Engagement Coordinator