Excited to thank AmeriCorps members & AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers on #NationalServiceRecognitionDay for stepping up & showing up when our communities need it most. #AmeriCorpsWorks for Thurston County!
Here is the proclamation from the Olympia City Council meeting. What a great testimony on the impact of AmeriCorps! Since 2015, over 60 people have served full-time for a year with Greater South Sound VISTA, raising over $4 million dollars in cash donations and in-kind resources for local organizations.
We currently have full-time members serving at Thurston County...
Post date: Friday, April 23, 2021 - 11:31am
It’s National Volunteer Appreciation Week and we’re shining the spotlight on volunteers who are making a difference – volunteers like Ron Bruchet.
"Giving back to our community has always been important to me (and my wife) through giving and volunteering,” he said. “I've served on several boards and committees and quickly learned that I always gain more from the experience than it takes from the giving of my time. I've met so many great people who are very passionate and have witnessed the positive outcomes of the various programs serving our most vulnerable population.”
Ron's been busy!...
Post date: Friday, April 23, 2021 - 11:12am
It is #NationalVolunteerWeek, and we're sharing stories of volunteers who are making a difference every day.
Kate Watkins is a Community Engagement AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). VISTA is a national service program dedicated to ending poverty by building the capacity of nonprofit organizations and public agencies.
Kate works at United Way of Thurston County, connecting people who want to volunteer with local nonprofits and community-based organizations who need help.
"I enjoy connecting and working with people who are passionate about making a difference. I'm...
Post date: Friday, April 23, 2021 - 11:10am
Happy #NationalVolunteerWeek! Thank you to the incredible volunteers who are making a difference in Thurston County every day. Volunteers such as Chris and Steve Hall.
Chris and Steve have been superstar volunteers at the COVID-19 Vaccination clinics. Chris has volunteered 14 times, and Steve has volunteered 8!
Here's what they had to say about their experience, "What we learned after our first shift was how JOYOUS the experience is. People are so happy! In observation, I (Chris) congratulated, laughed and even cried with people as they shared their emotions about what getting a shot...
Post date: Friday, April 23, 2021 - 11:05am
In a normal year, the Family Support Center of South Sound’s (FSCSS) Pear Blossom Place provides approximately 16,000 ‘shelter bed nights.’ It’s a formula derived from the number of people housed in an emergency shelter multiplied by the number of nights they stayed. But in 2020 the need for services soared to a high of 28,819 shelter bed nights. The demand was so great that the Olympia nonprofit began housing families at two local hotels - including one that caught fire in May.
“We had thirteen families in that hotel when it burned down,” says Maija Glasier-Lawson,...
Post date: Friday, March 26, 2021 - 8:48am
When Meals on Wheels volunteers visit seniors during their rounds, they supply more than just food. As the pandemic has worn on, many recipients who were already living alone have become increasingly isolated, with few opportunities for outside socialization. The (socially distanced) moments when drivers pause to chat once the food is delivered provide a welcome chance for interaction.
They also serve to keep Senior Services for South Sound connected with their constituents. “If the drivers notice any changes in someone’s health or behavior, they come back and tell our staff,” says...
Post date: Thursday, February 11, 2021 - 11:00am
In the midst of these trying, exhausting days, it may seem jarring to engage in this annual tradition of reflecting upon our blessings and embracing (pandemic-altered) rituals celebrating our gratitude.
We have all suffered, to some degree, in the last eight months. Unemployment is high, and local businesses are struggling. Some of us have lost loved ones. Perhaps you are coping with feelings of isolation, sadness, or fear. It can be hard to find gratitude these days.
And yet, I have. Despite all the pandemic turmoil, here are a few things I have seen, again and again: Generosity....
Post date: Wednesday, November 25, 2020 - 9:25am
When Thurston County received more than $15.7 million in coronavirus relief funds through the CARES Act in June, County Commissioners held a special four-hour meeting to decide how to spend the money to most effectively meet community needs. One key result: $500,000 went to United Way of Thurston County to provide nonprofit grants focusing on food, hygiene products and essential services for families impacted by COVID-19. More recently, the county allocated an additional $1.75 million to United Way to continue providing resources to nonprofits supporting vulnerable families, youth and...
Post date: Thursday, November 12, 2020 - 7:01am
A tight-knit group of Thurston County residents originally from India came together in April to boost fundraising efforts for the Thurston County COVID-19 Response Fund.
Jay Kovuri and Krishna Kumar are software developers living in Olympia. Jay, Krishna and a group of friends and colleagues from India who work for state agencies and private firms keep in regular contact using a group chat in WhatsApp. When the pandemic's economic impacts began unfolding in late March and early April, the topic of conversation in their chat turned to how they might be able to help those impacted by the crisis...
Post date: Thursday, July 23, 2020 - 3:58pm
I started my VISTA journey in August 2019. Fresh from graduating college, I wasn’t sure which direction my career would take but knew I needed more experience if I was ever going to get my dream job. I also felt a strong pull to serve people. Fortunate enough to have two caring parents with the means to put me through college, it was time to mobilize my privilege to put back into the community. I joined the Greater South Sound VISTA Team, and began serving with Child Care Action Council (CCAC) in Olympia, WA, supporting families and child care providers across six counties. I have been...
Post date: Friday, June 26, 2020 - 2:11pm