Cause Areas


Sat Aug 18, 2018 - Sun Aug 18, 2019


201 Capitol Way NOlympia, WA 98501


The VISTA Community Engagement Specialist will build volunteer and financial capacity to serve homeless families with children. This is a full time equivalent position, with service term August 2018 -- August 2019. Benefits include: stipends, educational awards, insurance, and more. Please see program description at my.americorps.gov.

Project Overview
FSCSS operates the South Sound region’s largest 24-hour homeless family shelter, Pear Blossom Place. Our community’s most vulnerable and chronically homeless families with children find safety, warmth, and security at Pear Blossom Place, and it is our goal to provide a safe, nurturing environment for families to stay in while they work to increase their family’s health, safety, and wellbeing, in addition to their economic & housing stability. PBP is kept open every night by dedicated volunteers from our community, and this VISTA project will work to expand and strengthen our community partnerships, increase volunteer recruitment efforts, and support with developing a robust training module for volunteer success. Additionally, this project will help to establish a fund development plan for Pear Blossom Place, including identifying in-kind and cash resources.

VISTA Objectives

  • Increase financial and in-kind resources to support the long term stability of Pear Blossom Place family shelter & affordable housing program and the clients served.
  • Develop and refine volunteer training and retention program
  • Recruit new volunteers for Pear Blossom Place family shelter
  • Engage in Family Support Center’s annual fundraising/event efforts and utilization of donor database

VISTA Activities

  • Further develop volunteer training program in order to improve a volunteer’s readiness and preparedness to volunteer at Pear Blossom Place.
  • Identify outside speakers, trainings, best practices, and tools to support volunteers.
  • Work with the Volunteer Coordinator to provide ongoing volunteer engagement and appreciation opportunities (such as monthly coffee/conversations, birthday cards and thank you notes, etc.) in order to improve overall volunteer retention.
  • Coordinate and facilitate organization’s participation in volunteer recruitment activities, including maintaining a calendar of events for VISTA & FSCSS staff to participate in such as job fairs, internship fairs, speaking with local service clubs, tabling events, etc.
  • Identify new recruitment avenues to engage with larger volunteer base, including colleges and universities and service clubs (Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, etc), thus increasing capacity and long-term volunteer sustainability.
  • Collaborate with other social service agencies utilizing volunteers to cross recruit, train, and utilize volunteers to best engage volunteers in our community.
  • Coordinate and participate in agency fundraising events and activities, such as Annual Fall Breakfast, 100 Men Who Care, Mother’s Day 5K, Father’s Day 5K, and Camp HOPE specific events
  • Develop event sponsorship materials, tracking of requests, and identifying contacts for targeted potential sponsors
  • Utilize Compass 360 software to input all donor information, grant and fundraising tracking, and to issue receipts and thank you letters immediately following events.

Preferred Skills & Experience

  • Education: Bachelor's degree in social services or related field. May substitute education for comparable work experience.
  • Experience working with volunteers and diverse populations, community organizing, fundraising, recruitment, public speaking, social services, and organizing training’s.
  • Skills: Ability to write and speak effectively with all audiences.
  • Technology: Computer literacy; Proficiency in the use of Microsoft office programs
  • Willingness to work occasional evenings and weekends.
  • Must be able to pass full criminal background check.

Important dates & responsibilities

  • The VISTA member agrees to complete a 12-month service term
  • Must attend Pre Service Orientation (travel provided by AmeriCorps)
  • Participate in United Way of Thurston County VISTA Team activities as appropriate / required
  • Work closely with agency supervisors to meet project goals in accordance to VISTA Assignment Description (VAD) and collectively and adjust as needed

Application Instructions
All interested applicants must apply through My AmeriCorps by visiting https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?id=73371&fromSearch=true Applicants must create an account and register with My AmeriCorps, and apply directly from that site.


  • Recruiting
  • People Skills
  • Grant Writing / Research
  • Relationship Building
  • Multi-Tasking
  • Community Outreach

Good Match For


Requirements & Commitment

  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 18
  • see my.americorps.gov

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