VISTA volunteers impact county, area residents
One group of volunteers that have made a noticeable impact on Carbon County is the AmeriCorps VISTAs. While their ranks consist of both young and older volunteers, their projects have helped improve nearly every community in the county.
Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) projects recently included the East Carbon City Kids Day, the BEAR Business Expansion and Retention Expo and many others, including smaller undertakings. These projects would not be possible if it were not for the VISTA's time and effort.
"Our VISTAs do a great job. They put in a lot of hours and really help the community," said VISTA Dolores Roberts.
A primary goal of the overall program is to fight poverty. Thus, many VISTAs find themselves in tough situations, but in keeping with their mission, they improve the situation. As Carbon County has many problems relating to troubled young people, VISTA volunteers, Megan Archibeque, Lacey Morgan, Ruth Cooper and other volunteers have been working to establish a local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club. The club is a national program that provides positive after-school programs for kids. Although, locally, major funding for the program is still pending, volunteers were able to set up an office as well as receive some support from Mount Harmon Junior High School.
The number of VISTAs has also increased over the past year from just a handful to more than 30. While this increase hasn't been expected, it is welcome. Projects that have been in the works for years, like the domestic violence program, have been received new support as well as new ideas.
Most often, though, many of the VISTAs are involved in simpler programs that are aimed at helping the less fortunate.