If you make it. This job is not for everybody, but it IS for those with a the ability to enter a situation and decide that you're going to love it. Luckily, Gabi, Michelle and I have that ability, and we did decide we were going to love this, and we do love it, therefore, everything about being a VISTA is perfect. (Besides writing sentences with too many commas, and overusing the word "and"). Really though, how many 22 year old recent college grads can say that they had to leave work to go meet with Congressman Joe Courtney? Technically, we aren't allowed to associate with a political stance while acting as a VISTA (meaning no rallies 9-5 Mon-Fri), but after touring the VA rehab facilities last week in West Haven I must say it was exciting to connect with a member of our Congressional District who so highly supports our veterans, submarine production (less homeless/unemployed vets!), and won support for an 18-unit supportive housing facility for homeless vets in Jewett City. There were about 10 VISTAs at Connecticut College yesterday to meet with Congressman Courtney and I think I am speaking for all of us in saying that we are so grateful to have his support and also for the opportunity to share our experiences and passion for eliminating poverty in the US, and specifically in the state of Connecticut.
Tomorrow we have the Three Rivers Community College Volunteer Fair, which will complete our world tour (county tour?). Absolutely going to make t-shirts for this now, New London Homeless Hospitality Center Volunteer Recruitment WORLD TOUR, complete with dates on the back...for a small donation I'll even sign it. We have gotten a hold of some really unbelievable volunteers lately from the Coast Guard Academy and Connecticut College. We haven't worked with the Conn College folks yet, but they are so enthusiastic and eager to help I want to meet every single one of them right this second. I plan on setting up some maintenance tasks for them, beginning with organizing our storage closet downstairs. The Coast Guard cadets have been amazing about bringing and serving the food from the Academy on Wednesday nights, so many of them jumped at that opportunity immediately. I must say, and not surprisingly, that I am extremely impressed with their compassion and the hard work that comes along with it. Hey cadets and Conn College students...WE APPRECIATE YOU!! thank you!!
Gabi is training so many Help Desk volunteers right now that soon enough, birth certificates, job apps, resumes, and all that jazz will be totally out of our hands (that's the goal). We have some day coverage 4 days a week and night coverage is up to 3 I believe. There are currently 7 or 8 Help Desk volunteers, when we started there were 3! Talk about world tour...Gabi is taking over this place!
Michelle got her first grant! It was like Christmas when the letter came in, the organization had $1,500 to grant, and $46,000 were requested throughout the process. She was up with some seriously stiff competition but she got it! For sure the best fundraising coordinator ever.
You dedicated readers will remember our friend, Pierre. I was starting to worry because I hadn't seen him in a while, nor had I heard anything about how he was doing. He stopped into the Drop In yesterday and I was able to catch up with him finally. Pierre is not only employed, but he has an apartment! Talk about a major success story!
Good updates, good updates. My Boston Bruins coffee mug (2-1 against Montreal last night preseason by the way) is about 1/4 full right now. That's right, NOT mostly empty, but partially full. So I'm going to refill the tank and make this the best Tuesday of the week.