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The VISTA Verse May 2011

Vol. 1 Issue 6

Always Remember….

VISTA Project of United Way of Weld County

AmeriCorps VISTAs celebrating Think-o De Mayo With the variety holidays and warmer weather there is a lot going on in May, but the AmeriCorps VISTAs aren’t being distracted as they focus on their mission to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. These members are celebrating their own “Think-o De Mayo” by organizing events/fundraisers, utilizing new strategies to recruit volunteers, sharing resources with each other, and gearing up for “AmeriCorps Week” May 14th-21st. Here are some of the VISTAs of United Way of Weld County’s current accomplishments & projects.

Ladies Fashion Show – Boys & Girls Club Laura Kay Hart th On Friday May 6 6:30pm at St. Michael’s Square the Boys and Girls Club will be hosting a ladies fashion show! The event will include martinis, a variety of martinis, hors d’ouevres, a purse raffle, and live auction not to mention the latest in ladies fashion. Tickets are $25 and you can contact ladies@bgcweld.org and if you would like to volunteer please contact LK Hart at lhart@bgcweld.org Garage Sale – Greeley Transitional House Alanna Gauthier th

On May 14 7am – noon at Greeley Transitional House. The annual garage sale fundraiser stores some treasures, so come find yours! The money gained at this garage sale will go to benefit the Greeley Transitional House and to support their work in helping families move from homelessness to self-sufficiency. They are still looking for items to sell at the garage sale, if you have items or want to volunteer please email Alanna Gauthier at alannargauthier@gmail.com or drop items off M- F 8am -5pm. AmeriCorps Week – May 14th -21st

The 5th annual AmeriCorps Week, provides the perfect opportunity for AmeriCorps members, alums, grantees, program partners, and friends to demonstrate AmeriCorps' impact on critical issues and thank the community partners who make AmeriCorps possible. AmeriCorps Week shines a spotlight on AmeriCorps' impact in communities across the country in order to motivate more Americans to join AmeriCorps or volunteer in their communities. The VISTA project of United Way of Weld County will be celebrating with it’s members by spreading out from it’s nonprofits and getting into the community to do some hands-on volunteer service, completing interviews, and presentations. If you would like to learn more about AmeriCorps visit: americorps.gov 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: erika@unitedway-weld.org


May 2011

The VISTA Verse

Market your Program & Create Awareness! 1. Mission and philosophy – Have a description of this memorized. What is your organization trying to do and how are you doing it? What community needs is your organization addressing? Why was your organization created and how? You want to create an image of this that others can relate to. 2. Description of the market being served - What are the characteristics of the people you are reaching? Be detailed about your demographics. A great way to do this is with charts and graphs, because they are more fun to look at than straight text. 3. Map of where the programs and partners are located -This demonstrates how widespread you are. Funders like to know how well your program is meeting the community need and how much you have grown since you started. 4. Description of the organization's impact on the community- How many people have you reached to date and how have you changed their lives? Increases in income level, self-esteem, or job creation are all good to include here.

Vol. 1 Issue 6

Important & Interesting Dates May is National Foster Care Month & Mental Health Month 05/05 Cinco De Mayo 05/06 Ladies Night Fashion Show – Boys & Girls Club 05/07 Cinco de Mayo Fiesta in Greeley 05/07 Largest Yard Sale in Loveland 05/08 Mother’s Day – Remember to thank yours! 05/14 Greeley Transitional House Garage Sale 05/15 – 05/21 Nat’l Bike Week 05/14 -05/21 NAT’L AMERICORPS WEEK! 05/21 Fishing Derby in Johnstown 05/21 Armed Forces Day 05/26 Legos Build-A-Thon Johnstown 05/30 Memorial Day – Always remember.

For more information on these events please email Erika – erika@unitedway-weld.org

5. Profiles of the people being served (success stories) -This is probably one of the most important elements of a good marketing packet and the most fun to create. Funders love to see and hear success stories. All you have to do is call or visit some of the people you have helped, ask them questions about how your project has changed their lives, and write up brief bios. Bring along a camera if you have one. Photos are an asset to any marketing piece. 6. Press articles on the organization -If you can show that the press is interested in you, then funders will be interested in you. Remember funders like to get recognition for their work in helping organizations like yours succeed. So, if you are already getting press, they will get good press through their support. 7. Go to town meetings. Find out what the issues are and if the organization can partner with local citizens to resolve issues facing the community. 8. Become a member of the local Chamber of Commerce or Service Clubs. The chamber will offer access to its many members and opportunities to interact with people in trade shows and at various events.

May Birthdays 05/05 LeeAnne Kosovich 05/18 Yan Jee 05/21 Anna Mastin


May 2011

The VISTA Verse

Vol. 1 Issue 6

How do I Celebrate May, Let me Count the Ways…. Whether you are celebrating Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, AmeriCorps Week, or Memorial Day; salsa and chips is always an easy snack! Not to mention, this recipe is healthy and FAST!

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Tomato Salsa with Cucumber “Chips” 1 1/4 pounds tomatoes, finely chopped 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro 1 small jalapeño, seeded and minced 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice Salt and freshly ground pepper 1 large seedless cucumber, sliced 1/4 inch thick

In a bowl, toss the tomatoes with the onion, cilantro, jalapeño and lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Serve the salsa with the cucumber chips for dipping. If you don’t like pico de gallo and/or don’t prefer cucumbers, buy an avocado, mash, and add these ingredients to make guacamole and be sure to grab the tortilla chips! Enjoy with these drinks….

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Aqua Fresca 4 cups drinking water 2 cups fresh fruit 1/4 cup sugar 2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice lime or lemon wedges for garnish

Preparation: In a blender combine water and fruit. Puree until smooth. Pour mixture through a sieve into a pitcher or serving container. Stir in lemon or lime juice and sugar. Add additional sugar to taste.

V^3: Very Valuable VISTA Emily Wigington – School District 6 Farm to School 1.) What would you consider the perfect Saturday? Saturdays are made for adventures. I love finding new things to do, whether it’s poking through a farmer's market, finding a new hiking trail or a new museum. A perfect day is heading outside with absolutely no agenda except having fun. 2.) Who is someone you admire and why? I admire Michelle Obama and all her work against childhood obesity. She has done an incredibly job coming up with new and creative programs to reach the youth. Her initiative includes recipe competitions, Chefs Move to Schools, Salad Bars to Schools, all of which that made my time as a VISTA incredibly productive and exciting. 3.) Working closely with food, do you have a favorite dish? Well, Chic' Penne of course! (And there's still time to vote at: http://www.recipesforkidschallenge.com/). 4.) Do you have any May celebration traditions? I grew up in Boulder and my dad has actually participated in every single Bolder Boulder Memorial Day 10k race. I've been running/ trying to keep up with him since I was 10 years old 5.) What is your favorite activity to do with your family? My family loves the outdoors so you can usually find us hiking, camping, skiing or backpacking 6.) What do you like to do in your free time for fun? Especially now that spring is here, I love to be outside whether it's running, hiking, playing soccer or a poorly played round of golf. 7.) Why did you become an AmeriCorps VISTA? Basically, I panicked about half way through my last semester in college and found myself on the AmeriCorps website. I knew I wanted to be back in Colorado and I had no idea what career I wanted to begin with. I stumbled upon this job at Nutrition Services and decided to give it a shot. It's probably been one of the best decisions I've ever made. 8.) What do you love the most about being in Colorado? SUNSHINE! After four years living in Oregon, 300 days of sunshine sounds a bit like paradise to me., 9.) If you could choose any other place in the United States to live, where would you choose? I would definitely move to Moab, Utah. Every vacation with my family was spent scouting out new arches or exploring slot canyons. Moab is in the heart of some of the most beautiful country I've ever come across.


May 2011

What’s Happenin’ - May

Vol. 1 Issue 6

All Events are FREE unless marked otherwise 05/07 9AM Cinco de Mayo Festival in Greeley. Parade will start on 8th street and 14th Ave going north to Island Grove Park Floats, bands, local performers, horses, Aztec Dancers, much more. Following the parade at Island Grove Park there will be many family things going on like a kids’ area with arts and face painting, climbing wall and more. 05/07 8am – 4pm Heruka Buddhist Center in Fort Collins. It’s a Celebration of the 2nd Annual Spring Fair. Come and enjoy Live Music, Hand Crafted Goods, Garage Sale/Flea Market items, Baked Goods and so much more 05/07 10am – 6pm Gryphon Games and Comics will be hosting Free Comic Book Day - a single day when participating comic book shops across the US give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their shops. Signings from Scott Bieser, Mike Baron, Felipe Echevarria , Lee Oaks and L. Neil Smith. There will also be signings by roller girls from FoCo Girls Gone Derby, a back issue comic book sale and more! 05/14 -05/15 Jazz Fest & Art Walk in Estes Park - Jazz 12:00pm – 5:00pm; Art 10:00am – 5:00pm at Performance Park Amphitheater. For two days the mountains are alive with the sounds of great jazz at the outdoor amphitheater. Visitors will also enjoy exploring unique galleries exhibiting exceptional art. Art Walk maps are available at the Jazz Festival in Performance Park and at the Cultural Art Council Fine Art Gallery at 423 W. Elkhorn Ave. 05/19 4-6pm Resume Writing Workshop AppleOne Employment Services 2914 67th Ave Greeley 05/26 9am -5pm Lego Build-A-Thon at Glen A Jones MD Memorial Library in Johnstown. 05/26 12 -1pm Free History Lunch N Learn Series The Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald - to be held at the Greeley Freight Station Museum, 680 10th Street 05/26 5pm – 7pm Greeley Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours hosted by the Greeley Stampede. 05/27 9am-5 pm Bring in your Lego creations to show them to others at Memorial Library in Johnstown! Re-occurring events: Karaoke every Mon 9pm AF Rays 2700 8th Avenue Greeley Trivia Night every Thursday 8pm at the Jager

VISTAs: Get The Most Out of Your Year To Impact Your Future 1. Make Some Friends - Create some great long-term friendships, really get to know the people you want to keep around, & don’t lose those connections after your year is up! I still talk/visit my AmeriCorps friends from Vermont. Linkedin.com is a good source! 2. Work Your Network - No matter what you are doing after your service year, you never know when one of these people will come in handy! During service, you’ll be invited to community events with important community members, & your tangible commitment & dedication will give you an edge of respect & credibility with people who are in a position to help you. You’d be a fool not to take advantage of that. Be sure to trade contact information & keep contact with them often. 3. Learn Marketable, Transferable Skills - If there’s one thing you’re going to do in Americorps, it’s learn new stuff. Spreadsheets, grant writing, event coordination or volunteering, these give you a leg up on the competition. Studies show that most employers put as much or more emphasis on potential employee’s skills than on their academic majors! 4. Get Certified - Some of the best perks of service are the certifications/trainings. From the merely useful to the financially lucrative, these can only make you more valuable. Trainings like CPR & specialized skills certifications are expensive, but they’re free through Americorps. You might even decrease your required certifications for a job before you start. 5. Expand That Comfort Zone - The trainings, the work you do, the people and situations you run into – all of these will shift your comfort zone and, once you’re opened up and are susceptible to outside influence, you might even over-come fears like public speaking. 6. Try New Things – You’re in a new area with new people, this is great! Make sure to have some adventures. Spend a day in Denver enjoying their free activities, check out Boulder or Cheyenne, WY! Other VISTAs will be happy to have someone to go with. 7. Be a Self-starter – If you think you have great ideas or projects for your program, go for it! Run them past your supervisor and document your progress. Only then can you know what will or won’t work for your program and what things you are capable of doing!It’s simple really, Americorps can either be a way to occupy a year, or a doorway to a new future, it’s up to you.


May 2011 VISTA Newsletter