Thirty-seven million Americans live in poverty. Through AmeriCorps*VISTA, you can make a tangible difference. In the process, you’ll find the fulfillment that comes from using your knowledge and skills to help those living in disadvantaged circumstances turn their dreams into reality. The Noisette Foundation is a regional center for VISTAs and has helped to place more than 50 VISTAs in the Greater Charleston area since 2004.
What is AmeriCorps*VISTA?
AmeriCorps*VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965 and incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993, VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America for more than 40 years.
What do VISTA Members Do?
VISTA members commit to serve full time for a year at a nonprofit organization or local government agency. They work to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses, strengthen community groups, and much more. With passion, commitment, and hard work, you will create or expand programs designed to bring individuals and communities out of poverty.
What do Noisette Foundation VISTAs do?
Noisette Foundation VISTAs help to build the capacity of nonprofits and government agencies by fighting poverty. The Foundation places approximately 50 VISTAs each year in host sites. AmeriCorps*VISTAs are placed in a variety of nonprofit and governmental organizations throughout the Greater Charleston area. These organizations submit an application in response to an Request for Proposal (RFP). They are selected by a committee composed of board members and staff, special consideration is given to groups that address one or more of the six programmatic areas of the Foundation, and whose influence is widespread. The Foundation emphasizes the following priorities: social justice, education, the environment, economic development, human health and arts and culture.
Where can I find more information regarding VISTA and Noisette Foundation?
* 2010-2011 AmeriCorps*Vista Sites
*Be A Mentor: Be A Mentor program helps connect volunteers with mentoring opportunities across the Lowcountry. The vision of Be A Mentor is to ensure that every child has a responsible, caring, role model and knows that someone believes in them. The program hopes to meet this goal by connecting more children with mentors and to secure the necessary resources and services to increase the capacity of mentoring programs. To sign up or to find out more information go to http://beamentorinitiative.com/
*Chicora School of Communications: As a Communications themed school, Chicora provides students with skills and practice in subjects aimed to develop writing skills, public speaking, and awareness of self through an integrated communications theme. Currently serving grades CD/K-5, the school also offers services to parents to increase education and family input in the education their children. To learn more about what is happening at Chicora School of Communication visit http://chicora.ccsdschools.com/home
*City of North Charleston Mayor’s Office for Education, Youth and Family (MOEYF): This office will address the needs of schools, non-profits, churches and organizations who value the City’s assistance with events, programs and services. We will aid these organizations in coordinating their outreach efforts in combination with similar endeavors of the City. Also, this office will bring attention to the resources that are available for parents and children within the community. The City is expanding, as a part of this new initiative, afterschool programs at our 13 elementary schools. We need information about your events and services for a database of information for our residents. To share or receive information call (843) 740-5822 or email Kyle Lahm. Visit the website here.
*St John’s Catholic School: The goal of St. Johns Catholic School is to educate and instill in each child an inherent self-worth and respect for all people by recognizing and embracing the cultural, social, economic, and religious differences that exist. The school recognizes the uniqueness of each child and translates this to include a variety of learning levels and techniques to teach basic skills as well as critical thinking and problem solving. To get more information about St. Johns Catholic School please visit them at http://saintjohncatholicsc.org
*Mary Ford Elementary School: Mary Ford Elementary School currently serves grades k-5. The school offers the Lunch Buddy program, a reading mentor program to help promote literacy while providing students with a positive role model. With emphasis placed on achievement through community involvement and activism, Mary Ford Elementary has seen much improvement towards meeting goals and standards set by the state. To find out more information visit http://maryford.ccsdschools.com
*Helping And Lending Outreach Support (HALOS): Every day children across SC suffer from abuse and neglect, an average of 17 per day. In Charleston Country alone, more than 1,800 children have open cases of abuse and neglect (Dept. of Social Service, 2009). HALOS provides assistance to abused and neglected children in Charleston County and to their caregivers through a variety of programs and initiatives. To find out more information about HALOS please visit http://charlestonhalos.org
*Increasing H.O.P.E. Financial Training Center (Helping Others Prosper Economically): HOPE Financial is an educational training organization committed to meeting the needs of people living in financial distress. By offering financial literacy training designed to meet the needs of all people HOPE Financial Survival University (FSU) offers specialized classroom instruction to individuals about practical applications of money management. For more information about H.O.P.E., please visit http://increasinghope.org/
*City of Charleston Mayor’s Office of Children, Youth, and Families (MOCYF): With the aim to ensure the positive development of children, youth, and families by providing the fundamental resources needed to prepare them for success in life and helping them become productive members and future leaders. MOCYF identifies the needs of communities, helps create programs to meet those needs, and ensures long-term sustainability of services. To learn more about the program visit the City of Charleston site at charlestoncityinfo.com.
*Metanoia Community Development Corporation (CDC): Metanoia CDC is a movement of people rooted in faith that invests in neighborhood assets to build leaders, establish quality housing, and generate economic development. Focused on the three central priorities of being community based, asset driven, and devoted to faith, the Metanoia CDC addresses issues through their Young Leaders, Civic Leader, and Housing Development Programs. During the summer months, Metanoia also serves as an official site of the Children Defense Fund Freedom School program which focuses on child literacy. For more information about Metanoia visit http://pushingforward.org/
*Lowcountry Orphan Relief : Lowcountry Orphan Relief is a nonprofit organization that provides goods and service to children who have been victimized by abuse and/or neglect. The organization works directly with other nonprofits, schools, foster parents, and government agencies to identify the needs of these children and other children in low-income households. By intervening at critical junctures in the lives of these children to supply products and services that provide strong and positive impact, Lowcountry Orphan Relief works to meet the needs of abandoned, abused, and/or neglected children in the Tri-Country Area. For more information about Lowcountry Orphan Relief visit http://lowcountryorphanrelief.org/
*ECCO East Cooper Community Outreach: East Cooper Community Outreach (ECCO) is an organization dedicated to assisting Lowcountry citizens in need and providing emergency disaster relief. ECCO serves residents mainly in the area east of the Cooper River and south of the Santee Basin. Area churches started this effort in response to the devastation caused by a major hurricane. At that time, ECCO provided emergency assistance, food, clothing, household furnishings, and financial needs. The organization now also provides education, medical and dental services, and counseling. With the motto “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” the ECCO attempts to improve the quality of life in communities in a compassionate way that respects the dignity and worth of every person involved. To get more information, please visit http://eccocharleston.org/
*SC Sea Grant Consortium: The South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium is a state agency that utilizes research, education, extension, and training to enhance economic opportunities and to conserve coastal marine resources for South Carolina citizens especially in the rural barrier islands. For more information about the SC Sea Grant Consortium, please visit http://scseagrant.org/
*Lowcountry Earth Force: Lowcountry Earth Force has worked for over a decade to support youth-driven, service-learning initiatives that are designed to engage youth in both environmental and community problem-solving activities. As, part of a national Earth Force group, the program utilizes local educators, youth, and the unique South Carolina environment to provide yearlong, one-on-one support programs for educators and their students with trainings, field trips, and other professional development and networking opportunities. For more information about Lowcountry Earth Force, visit http://earthforce.org/section/offices/lowcountry
*Michaux Conservancy: The Michaux Conservancy was established in 2003 to educate communities about their natural ecosystems and how these systems work and benefit human health. Michaux’s goals include reconnecting the local population with nature, promoting environmental responsibility, and increasing student interest in science careers. More concrete goals include creating a North Charleston where bicycling and walking are safer by linking sidewalks to trails. For more information about the Michaux Conservancy visit http://www.michauxconservancy.org
*Wings For Kids, Inc (WINGS): WINGS for kids, Inc. is an elementary education program that teaches low income kids social and emotional skills so that they behave well, make good decisions, and build healthy relationships. The vision of WINGS is that all children will develop social and emotional skills so they can be successful in life. Our mission is to teach those skills to elementary school age kids who are growing up in poverty. WINGS is the only U.S. organization solely focused on developing social and emotional skills in after school programming. For more information, please visit http://www.wingsforkids.org/