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The VISTA Verse February 2011

Vol. 1 Issue 3

Weld County is PROUD of our VISTAs! The numbers are in! The United Way VISTA project of Weld County has completed their six month accumulative progress report and it’s been an active, challenging, and worthwhile task for all. United Way is happy to have VISTAs helping to involve nonprofits and community members in meaningful partnerships! This is a big “thank you” for all the great work they have done in this community from July 2010 to January 2011! 1. VISTAs created and distributed 56 different marketing documents such as: flyers, posters, brochures, blogs, websites, recruitment cards, door hangers, and more. 2. VISTAS have researched, written, and applied to 18 different grants, locally and nationally. 3. VISTAs have performed 24 community presentations to groups at local Universities, Community Colleges, High Schools, Fairs (health, job, and volunteer), fraternities, collaborating nonprofits, and municipal organizations. 4. VISTAS have implemented 10 different programs as a supplement to ongoing programs at their organizations, including developing 4 additional new programs or resources for their nonprofit. 5. VISTAs raised $30,359 of cash resources and obtained $4,520 value of noncash resources for their organizations to aid in reaching their goals and to improve their organization. 6. VISTAs recruited 124 volunteers and had them complete 370.5 hours of volunteer work! “As I get older, I hear friends brag of money and owning expensive, newly released items. I brag about my VISTA’s work and accomplishments…and I still feel good afterwards.” – Erika Rogness, VISTA Leader

Interested in learning more? Contact: VISTA Project – United Way of Weld County 814 9th Street Greeley, CO 80631 PO Box 1944 Greeley, CO 80832 P: 970-353-4300 ext 2570 F: 970-353-4738 Email:

IMPORTANT & INTERESTING DATES! Black History Month 02/14 Valentine’s Day & Nat’l Organ Donor Day 02/17 Random Acts of Kindness Day 02/17 – 19 You Plus Conference. Registration: 02/24 VISTA Monthly Meeting 02/21 President’s Day – Federal Holiday 02/26 Young Women, Strong Leader’s Conference at UNC

February 2011

The VISTA Verse

Vol. 1 Issue 3

Support Organization Events 1. Develop manuals, guides and other materials to lead staff and volunteers through the planning and implementation process. These will be used in future years. 2. Recruit and train a group of volunteers to run every aspect of the event and/or drive. Once VISTAs are no longer at the organization, the event will continue through volunteer leadership. 3. Collaborate with other organizations, businesses, schools, etc. Remember to acknowledge and send "Thank You's" to all partners when the event is over. These memories will make them want to participate in the future. 4. Be sure to express how the event or drive fits into the overall mission of the organization. This is useful in recruiting volunteers, interacting with the media and ensuring that the event stays focused. 5. Evaluate the event or drive and document successes and areas for improvement for next year's staff and volunteers to reference. Writing down positives, negatives, and how to make the event better next year helps!

Advice for Obtaining Donations 1. Have a strong belief in the project that you are working because the donor needs to understand the importance of the project and how many people it will benefit. Never feel guilty about asking the community for their support because these projects are helping their consumers and overall bettering the community that there business is operating in! 2. Second, ask for things they have readily available and can donate without it taking a toll on them. Example: Ace Hardware could donate rejected paint mixtures. Businesses also like to be identified as sponsors. Try to recognize them for their donations; they appreciate the free advertising and are more likely to give! Also, local businesses often have a higher investment in their community interests and are more willing to give things away versus corporations. 3. Last piece of advice? ASK! How will you get a donation, if you don’t ask? If they are unable to donate fully they may be able to offer a discount or gift cards. This works great for grocery stores and department stores that would otherwise have to go through their corporate office. The gift cards may be used at the establishment to buy the items they were not able to donate. Farewell & Good Luck to our Departing members: Carol Hillebrand, Cathy Millon, & Thomas Mink

United Way of Weld County AmeriCorps VISTAs, Weld County Youth Conservation Corps, and Aims Student United Way members

MLK Day – Day of Service "Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don't have to understand physics to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” – Martin Luther King Jr. The event was a success! AmeriCorps VISTAs of United Way of Weld County along with Weld County Youth Conservation Corps and Aims Student United Way were able to give the c.a.r.e. House a new look on January 17th as part of Martin Luther King DayDay of Service! The c.a.r.e. (Child Advocacy Research and Education) House is a supervised visitation and exchange program, providing a safe environment for families and children that allows them to maintain positive family interactions. The murals will help brighten the area for the children that use the facility. Also, a big thank you to local mural artist, Armando Silva, for donating his skills and time and Sarah Gates for organizing the event! Thank you to everyone that joined, helped, donated any items, or just dropped by and gave encouragement! It was greatly appreciated!

February 2011

The VISTA Verse

Vol. 1 Issue 3

Italian Spaghetti Squash The cold has intensified; enjoy a warm meal with some in season winter squash! When buying spaghetti squash choose deep yellow squash with limited soft spots these are ripe. INGREDIENTS 1 Medium Spaghetti squash 2 Cloves Garlic, minced 2 teaspoons Olive Oil or vegetable oil 1 Can Diced Tomatoes, drained 1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Basil 1/8 teaspoon Dried Oregano 2-3 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese (or Romano Cheese if you prefer) DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Place spaghetti squash cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet, and bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance. Remove squash from oven, and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion in oil until tender. Add the tomatoes, basil, and oregano to the garlic and simmer 10-15 minutes. Use a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash, and place in a medium bowl. Toss with the sautéed vegetables, cheese, and basil. Serve warm. NOTE: You can substitute any vegetables and spices as you see fit. Also tastes great with spaghetti sauce!

V^3: Very Valuable VISTA LeeAnne Kosovich – A Kid’s Place 1.) If you had to live off of one meal for a year, what would you pick and why? My grandma’s roast beef, mashed potatoes, & corn. It’s the best meal I’ve ever had. It’s the first meal makes when I come home, and the last meal she makes the night before I leave! 2.) What’s your greatest fear? My greatest fear is probably that I will end up alone and a spinster <think cat lady>! 3.) What is something interesting about yourself that one wouldn’t know just by looking at you? That I was a gymnast for 15 years, from ages 3-18. I can’t walk a straight line on the ground, but my best event was beam. 4.) If I were to look at your web browser, what site would show up most often in your history? Facebook, Google, Ravelry (knitting site) and Subversive Cross Stitch. 5.) If you could be any animal, what would you be and why? Dolphin. When I studied abroad on Semester at Sea they were our constant companions in the middle of the ocean when there was nothing else. Also because they have the freedom to roam the Earth’s waters and go where they please. 6.) Where is your favorite place on Earth? Between the Taj Mahal at sunset where I talked for hours with friends with a wondrous backdrop or simply sitting in any one of my living rooms curled up with a good book in a hoodie where I don’t have to worry about what anyone else is thinking! 7.) Why did you become an AmeriCorps VISTA? Honestly, I joined because the job market was awful after graduation and I had to start making loan payments! I had considered Peace Corps and Americorps before, but this rushed me into a decision! 8.) What do you miss most about home? Missing my family and friends, I miss LAKE ERIE! The mountains are nice, Carter Lake or Red Feather Lake are NOT lakes. I used to drive by the lake or see the lake almost every day, and I’m definitely “lake-sick” 9.) What do you love the most about being in Colorado? I love the lack of humidity! It makes the temperature just a little more moderate all the time. And, running the risk of sounding really cheesy, I love Colorado because I’ve met some really great friends and a really great guy.

February 2011 February 2011

What’s Happenin’ February What’s Happenin’ - February

Vol.Vol. 1 Issue 3 3 1 Issue

All Events are FREE unless marked otherwise th

02/11 Tax Help: Aims Community College Westview building, Fri 1-7 p.m. & Tue 5-8 p.m (until April 12 ) 02/12 Sweetheart Skate, Ice Haus, $6 per couple 7:15 – 8:45pm Games and prizes th 02/12 Pancake Palooza at The Sunshine House 2101 16 Street Greeley 8am – 10am th 02/13 My Valentine Bazaar at Cherry Blossom Event Center 315 E 4 Street Loveland, 11am – 3pm (Farmers Market) 02/14 Valentines Sweetheart Dance at Good Samaritan Society 708 22nd Street Greeley 3:15pm – 5:15pm 02/16 Local Flavor at Fox Run Senior Living 1720 60th Ave Greeley Gourmet 3 course meal of local foods RSVP 353-7773 02/16 Film, “Girl Who Played with Fire” at UNC Lindou Auditorium, lower level of Michener Library 7-9pm $5 th 02/17 Women Give 5 Annual Luncheon at Drake Centre, 802 W. Drake Road, Fort Collins 11:30am -1pm RSVP 02/18 Post Traumatic Valentine’s Day Slam Crabtree Brewing Co. 625 3rd Street #D Greeley 7pm – 10pm Poetry slam! 02/20 Girls and Women’s Sports Fair at Northside Aztlan Center 112 E. Willow Street, Fort Collins 12 – 5pm win prizes! 02/25 School of Music Edge Festival at UNC Foundation Hall, 1516 8th Avenue, Greeley $5 paintings, speeches, & fashion 02/28 50 Years of Peace Corps at CSU Morgan Library, second floor 4pm – 6pm Celebrate with an exhibit and reception! 02/28 Buddhist Meditation, Clean Your Karma @ Lincoln Park Library 919 7th St Greeley 6pm – 7:30pm Re-occurring events: $5 ZUMBA every Tue 4:30pm, Thur 9am, Fri 12pm @Zoes 715 10th Street Greeley Karaoke every Mon 9pm AF Rays 2700 8th Avenue Greeley

Working Hard or Hardly Working? Negative temperatures, piles of snow; yes it is winter in Colorado. There may be slow days at work or lulls when you are wondering what you should be doing. Keep yourself busy and productive with a few of these ideas, some of which you don’t even have to be at the office for! Feel free to add to the list: 1. Prepare for future projects Plan as much as you can by creating a list of contacts and resources for your idea, event, or project. You will have time to run these by your supervisors when you discuss the project. Visit this site: 2. Work on grant research and writing Utilize your time to find those not-so-obvious grant opportunities. Make sure you are eligible to apply for the grant, and if you have time begin to research supporting information and data for the grant. Visit these sites: or 3. Use that time to clean and organize When work is hectic, piles of papers can build up and unnecessary items can get buried under them. File what you need, throw away what you don’t. You’ll appreciate this organization when things get busy again. Also, make sure you have electronic and hard copies of important papers! 4. Work on your legacy binder Otherwise known as your sustainability binder. These binders are extremely helpful not only to the organization, but to the future VISTAs that will be serving at your organization. Start making copies of flyers, printing out agendas, and making notes so that a future VISTA/staff member/volunteer can easily start where you leave off. Visit these sites: or 5. Review & Update. Take a look at your VAD, progress reports, and tracking forms . These are living documents that should always be up-to-date and applicable to your service. If you notice that they aren’t, make some edits and consult with your supervisor about the changes you are making. 6. Network Keep networking with other VISTAs, AmeriCorps members, and community resources. Though you are encouraged to do this in the beginning of your service, it’s important to maintain those contacts and make new ones. They are great for ideas, information, and future collaborations! 7. Catch up on reading Research organizations similar to yours and see what they are doing so you may build off their ideas. You can also take this time to review your AmeriCorps manual. Here is another great source:

February VISTA Leader  

United Way of Weld County VISTA Project's February Newsletter 2011

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