FAMILIES IN TRANSITION VISTA PROGRAM WELCOMES NEW AMERICORPS*VISTA VOLUNTEERS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 7, 2011

For more information, contact: Michele Talwani – (603) 641-1143 ext. 322

READY TO SERVE- AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteers from the Families in Transition VISTA Program recently had an orientation to kick off their service year. (Top row, from left): Pamela Punsky, Families in Transition VISTA Program Manager; Shane Fisher; Tommy Lemoine; Nick McIntyre; Carol Holyoake; Sarah Bowen; Briana Serafino; Abigail Doucette; Tabitha Brobst; Christine Montelione; Sara Tufo; Madeline Leung; Katharine Burnham; Levi Kafka; Lenoir McDougal; Molly Foulds; and Amanda Flitter. (Bottom row, from left): Miranda Sciabarrasi; Kelly Sennott; Lisa Blankemeyer; Nicole Starkey; Diane Morris; Amy Berthiaume; Mollie Moscony; Heather Wilson; Julianna Tarbell; Pascale Etienne; Melissa Sullivan; Vanessa Wood; and Christina Giorgio

Group will dedicate a year to fighting poverty in the Granite State

MANCHESTER, NHThe Families in Transition (FIT) VISTA Program recently welcomed 32 new AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) members to the state of New Hampshire. AmeriCorps*VISTA, a program of the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS), comprises a nationwide network of volunteers who commit to serve full-time for at least one year at nonprofits, government agencies, and faith-based organizations working to fight poverty throughout the United States.

“Families in Transition is excited and proud to sponsor these AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteers,” said Maureen Beauregard, President of Families in Transition. “Over the next year, they are going to make a great impact in New Hampshire and will help us reach out to the most vulnerable members of our communities.”

This year’s participants hail from fourteen different states. During their service year, they will build sustainable programs and funding for the following organizations (alpha order by town/city):

Bedford: The Care Givers, Inc.

Concord: New American Africans, Women’s Fund of New Hampshire, New Hampshire Department of Education, and Early Learning New Hampshire

Enfield: Upper Valley Humane Society

Gilsum: ACCESS Gilsum

Keene: Keene Public Library

Laconia: Prescott Farm

Manchester: Families in Transition, Manchester Continuum of Care, The Way Home, More Than Wheels, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of New Hampshire, Child Health Services, YWCA New Hampshire, Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester, ABI Innovation HUB, Elmwood Garden Neighborhood Learning Center

Nashua: Harbor Homes, Inc., and Welcoming Light

Portsmouth: United Way of the Greater Seacoast and Arts in Reach (AIR); In Rochester: Rochester Child Care Center

Winchester: ACCESS Winchester

Wolfeboro: Global Awareness Local Action (GALA)

At the Families in Transition VISTA Program orientation, Mayor Ted Gatsas of Manchester welcomed the volunteers to the Queen City area and thanked the VISTAs for their service commitment.

Alex Ray, founder of the Common Man family of restaurants, also attended and spoke about the importance of volunteerism. “I’m proud of what AmeriCorps does,” he said.

The Families in Transition VISTA Program is the largest network of AmeriCorps*VISTAs living and serving throughout the state of New Hampshire. The Program recruits dedicated volunteers and host sites to join the VISTA team, with the goal of improving the quality of life for the most disadvantaged members of our community. It is a program of Families in Transition, a Manchester- and Concord-based homeless housing and services provider. Established in 1995, Families in Transitions (FIT) is a nonprofit organization that provides safe, affordable housing and comprehensive social services to individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, enabling them to gain self-sufficiency and respect. FIT has been a sponsoring agency for AmeriCorps*VISTA since 2010. For more information about FIT, its programs and stores visit www.fitnh.org or call 603-641-9441.

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