I can remember when I was a child, about seven years old. My father had passed away. My mother was raising 10 children by herself and we lived on a big dairy farm. VISTA volunteers came in and helped us. This was in the 1960's, can't remember the year for sure, but do appreciate them being there to help. Thank GOD for volunteers!!!!! They made a big impact on my life.
I wanted to make a difference in my own hometown and work with children, so I joined AmeriCorps VISTA in 1994. I worked through our community resource center in West Union, West Virginia and worked with local students with a drug free program at our local High School.
As a leader I planned activities to help them choose the activities over using drugs, alcohol, tobacco. We went on several trips and stayed so busy that the children didn't have time to be in trouble. It was fun and very rewarding not only to me but for them.
Today so many of these kids are adults with children of their own. When I see these kids out today, they will recall the difference it made in their lives to have someone to care and need them as much as their parents did.
Yes, we worked hard in parades and floats, swimming, ropes challenge and lots of community services.