Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stories In-Service (November 2009)

In November, VISTA member Stacy Raker launched a new volunteer program for the organizations People Who Care and Neighbor to Neighbor to more comprehensively utilize the skills and assets their volunteers bring to the organizations. People Who Care and Neighbor to Neighbor are both organizations that meet the individual transportation needs of elderly, disabled, or home-bound individuals. This new Community Liaison program is designed to help the agency connect with various faith communities, service or civic organizations located in the Quad-City communities (Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, and Dewey-Humboldt). To date, over 35 People Who Care and Neighbor to Neighbor volunteers have participated.

The 28th Annual Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters Gala was held on Saturday, November 21st at the Prescott Resort and Conference Center. VISTA member Meghan Quigley helped to organize and plan the event, which is intended to honor the top 350 donors of the Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters. The gala honored their donors through a formal dinner and dancing, featured silent and live auctions, and former football hall-of-famer, Lynn Swann, was the celebrity emcee. This event raised over $250,000 for Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters.

The Prescott Area Women’s Shelter (PAWS) held its 1st Annual Winter Fundraiser on December 3rd at Jazzy’s Wine Bar in downtown Prescott.  PAWS VISTA member, Erika Stone, helped organize the event and worked with volunteers for over a month gathering donations from businesses and individuals for the silent auction and raffle. Over 70 silent auction items and 30 raffle items were presented during the evening, nearly 150 community members attended, and PAWS raised over $5,000 for its operations. Since officially opening in February 2009, PAWS has served over 100 women and 10 children.

Beth Ashton, a VISTA member serving with the United Way of Yavapai County in Prescott Valley, AZ., helped to facilitate the organization’s role in the Verde Valley’s, “Mitzvah Day.” On November 15th in Sedona, AZ., the “intergenerational and interfaith day of service,” successfully engaged approximately 500 volunteers in 30 different service projects in the Verde Valley communities. The event was sponsored by the Verde Valley Caregivers, the Jewish Community Foundation of Sedona and Verde Valley, and the Keep Sedona Beautiful organization.

VISTA member Sam Kissinger, who runs a literacy program for students ages 7-11 at Humboldt Elementary School in Humboldt, AZ., organized a community service project called Campus Clean-up. As the title indicates, volunteers were solicited to come help weed, rake and pick up trash. The idea, initiated by Sam, was for everyone involved in the school and in the community of Humboldt, to physically demonstrate their commitment to the school. The day ended with 30 volunteers, far surpassing the wildest expectations, and over 1840 square yards of weeds, yard waste and garbage collected.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Prescott Area Women's Shelter (PAWS)

 The Prescott Area Women's Shelter (PAWS), originally YCVP VISTA project in 2007, is now a fully operational shelter serving the needs of women and women with children in Yavapai County. Thanks to VISTA member Donna Bellina for creating this video. To learn more about PAWS, visit

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