Happy New Year!
2010 is the 45th anniversary that Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) first fanned out across the country, spending a year organizing communities in poverty, developing local infrastructures, and connecting people with the rights and the social service resources in their regions.
In honor of the 45th anniversary, the Corporation for National and Community Service — the agency that runs VISTA today, as AmeriCorps VISTA — is planning several celebrations throughout 2010, across the country and online.
For example, special events like an exhibit of VISTA photos from the late 60s by then-VISTA Frederico Santi may appear in a few places around the United States, presented during AmeriCorps Week (May 8-15) and during other times.
Also a focus on poverty issues and a celebration of VISTA’s contributions are in the works for this summer’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service in New York City, among the oldest host cities for VISTAs.
I hope to focus more attention on VISTAs past and present on this blog during the coming year, including writings of VISTAs who have served in the Pacific Northwest and contributed writings to the Northwest National Service Symposium.
To all VISTAs — thanks for your service, and I am excited to help kick off this exciting year!
Learn more about VISTA through the official VISTA website, and the hub of support the VISTA Campus (requires a free login), and subscribe to the VISTA Viewfinder which features news and interviews with VISTAs. You can also follow @VISTAbuzz on Twitter. The team at VISTA headquarters in DC has also recently launched a Facebook page for alumni.