Hello everyone! It’s Brooklyn with Char-Em United Way here in beautiful Petoskey, MI. I have many roles as a VISTA in Charlevoix and Emmet County. I am a Volunteer Coordinator, which means I recruit and train volunteers for events. I write newsletters, press releases and a Volunteer of the Month article. I support the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) Program. This program provides a free book each month that’s mailed directly to any child under 5 years of age in our two county areas. I attend Career Day events in order to help prepare students for their future and I also help with fundraisers and any other projects that our agency takes on.
My biggest accomplishment of this year so far was Day of Action. This event consisted of volunteers heading into schools, libraries and bookstores in order to read to children and pass out “literacy kits” which contained school supplies and activity pages to keep kids learning during the summer. Overall, this seems like a pretty simple event but there was a lot of work that went into it. I sent out sponsorship requests and was able to get funding for the event, I organized volunteers and times they should show up to read, and I communicated with all of the different locations to make sure the day ran smoothly. At the end of the day, all the kids were happy and the volunteers were as well. It was the first event I planned all on my own and it ended up being a great one!
Everything has slowed down a bit in the summer, but there is still a lot to do! As a November start VISTA, I have just over three months left of my service year. In the next three months, I would like to focus more on grant writing and raising funds for Char-Em United Way’s projects.
I am working on reaching out to partner agencies and training them on our new Volunteer Connections webpage. This page helps connect volunteers to different volunteer opportunities in the community and will be a great tool when we start getting more people to use it.
There will be a new VISTA starting here in August! It is very exciting that we will have a bit of overlap before I move onto something new. Overall, I am excited for what is to come in the next few months and for what I decide to after my service year is over.
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!