I arrived in Spartanburg, SC in August of 2013 after serving for 10 month in the AmeriCorps State/National program in Jacksonville, FL and I was uncertain as to what VISTA's actually did! I knew that VISTA's did something involving "capacity building," but I didnt exactly know what that entailed. What exactly was a grant and how would I write one? Would I be good at it? Would I get one? My host site was The Haven Shelter for Families in Spartanburg and it was affiliated through The United Way of the Piedmont. My Executive Director, along with the site staff, was very welcoming and accomodating of the fact that I had very little experience in fundraising and social media. I was, however, very enthusiastic about changing the course of The Haven's Facebook and Twitter campaign about creating a "Dine to Donate" fundraising project that would allow friends and fans to pick a place to eat once a month and in return for that eatery hosting us, they would allow a portion of the proceeds to go directly back to The Haven! It was a project that I helped grow through Facebook and through networking opportunities with partners in the community, I was able to attend various grant writing seminars as well to sharpen my writing skills. I actually wrote several grants and received one in particular that focused on summer school activities for our children to use for science and recreation day camps in the amount of $2500! It was a huge accomplishment for me and allowed me to secure a second term as a VISTA in North Carolina at another site!
Thank You Haven!