By Zach Miller, VISTA leader
Amanda Leitch, one of ten CEDAM AmeriCorps VISTA members, is “getting things done” at her host site organization Have Mercy in Greenville.
Have Mercy provides food and shelter to those in need in Montcalm and Ionia counties. Due to rising rents in Grand Rapids, both counties are seeing increased demand for safe, affordable housing options. Last year, the organization served 188 people but due to limited space had to turn away nearly 300 others.
Amanda is playing a crucial role in expanding the capacity of Have Mercy.
To bring awareness to the organization and the challenges their community faces, Amanda created a video that yielded significant engagement on Facebook. She has been successful in recruiting friends and neighbors to support the organization. Recently, she created position descriptions for all volunteer roles and developed a new ID card for all volunteers and employees.
“Amanda is helping us with donor management, fundraising and getting our name into the public. Her knowledge of fundraising, writing and publishing has greatly helped us to improve our visibility,” said Kim Cain, executive director at Have Mercy. “She has an amazing network of friends and professional contacts that has helped us so much already.”
Our AmeriCorps VISTA members serve in a variety of ways, but they are all working to build the capacity of their organizations and to reduce poverty. Current sites include community foundations, main street/downtown organizations, cities, and nonprofit organizations.
Members of our AmeriCorps State program support their organizations through direct service.
We will be sharing the story of service through CEDAM’s AmeriCorps programs throughout the year. If you’re interested in becoming part of the CEDAM AmeriCorps family, please contact Rachel Diskin at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also reach her by calling 517.485.3588 ext. 1952.