Americorps Vista Program needs service-minded volunteers

By JIM CLARK

LACONIA — AmeriCorps VISTA is now recruiting for the New Hampshire Families inTransition Program for the 2016-2017 service year.

AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers are needed in Laconia, as well as in Concord, Manchester,Nashua and Franconia. There are currently 17 positions open at the present time with more expected.

The FIT/VISTA positions involve working full-time for one year as a volunteer, with a payment at the end of service and other benefits.  Volunteers recruited are placed in non-profit organizations or local government agencies. They work to fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, and assist low-income persons.

VISTA—Volunteers in Service to America—is a national service program designed to fight poverty.  The idea originated with President John F. Kennedy, and came to fruition as a “Great Society” program in 1965.  VISTA was incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993.

The volunteer positions open in the Granite State range from grant writing, program development, community outreach, employment and training, marketing, fundraising, and other administrative and program activities geared toward creating effective and sustainable solutions to end local poverty.

Last year in New Hampshire, over $710,000 was raised by VISTA volunteers for non-profit organizations, with about 2,600 low-income persons served.

VISTA has been linked with the Families in Transition Program in New Hampshire since 2010. FIT is a homeless housing and services provider with offices in Manchester, Concord and Dover.

FIT/VISTA volunteers must be at least 18 years old and there is no upper age limit. Volunteers pledge to serve at least one year, and can extend their service up to five years. Volunteers are provided $5,550 for school expenses or to pay off students loans. Volunteers are also permitted to postpone the repayment of their federal student loans for the duration of their service.

A cash stipend of $1,500 is also provided upon completion of service.  Volunteers are given 20 days of sick leave each year.

FIT/VISTA volunteers gain valuable work experience which aids in building a strong resume. The program offers a wide range of professional development and future job networking opportunities.

For more information on FIT/VISTA positions in the state and to apply, go to the program’s website at www.fitnh.org or call (603)-641-9441.  To find out more details of AmeriCorps VISTA, go to www. nationalservice.gov/americorps-vista.

Read more: http://www.citizen.com/news/2016-07-29/Local/Americorps_Vista_Program_needs_serviceminded_volun.html

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