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Growing Hope in Ypsilanti, MI recruiting VISTA volunteers!

  • Subject: [cg] Growing Hope in Ypsilanti, MI recruiting VISTA volunteers!
  • From: "Amanda M. Edmonds" amandamedmonds@gmail.com
  • Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2006 12:36:59 -0400

Please pass along!

Interested in local food systems, sustainable communities, organic
gardening/agriculture, community organizing & development, social &
environmental justice, or healthy lifestyles?  So are we!

I am pleased to announce that Growing Hope in Ypsilanti, Michigan is
recruiting up to six VISTA volunteers to begin full time, one-year
terms of service in November 2006.  Position qualifications,
descriptions, application information, and more is pasted below, and
repeated in the attached document.  Please note that electronic
submissions are encouraged, and the deadline for applying is
September 4, 2006-- though earlier submissions are highly recommended.

Amanda Maria Edmonds
Executive Director, Growing Hope

"We must be the change we wish to see in the world."
"To forget to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget
                     -Mahatma Gandhi

National Service AmeriCorps*VISTA Positions

At Growing Hope in Ypsilanti, Michigan
Make a difference in your community through community & school gardening


Growing Hope is currently recruiting applicants for up to 6 VISTA
positions for 12-month terms of service, to begin in November 2006
and run through November 2007. We may also choose to hire VISTA
members to begin a term of service February 2007-February 2008.
Growing Hope is a community-based nonprofit organization whose
mission is to help people improve their lives and communities through
gardening. Through a community capacity-building approach, we work in
partnership with low-income schools, community groups, and agencies
to help people gain the skills, resources, and support needed to
develop and sustain school & community gardens and garden-based

All VISTA members will help to enhance local environments by
strengthening food security, improving health & nutrition, and
providing educational opportunities to low-income community members
throughout Washtenaw County through different roles in the
organization. VISTA members will work to increase Growing Hopes
organizational capacity by developing program models, partnerships,
training, and resources that support school & community gardening.
Each VISTA member will focus in one of the three areas below,
although some responsibilities/projects may be shared and adjusted
based on the strengths and interests of each member.

Currently, we are recruiting VISTA members for the following areas of
focus: Youth/Education/ Outreach, Volunteer Coordination, Marketing/
Events/Fundraising, Garden Resource Program, Training/Garden
Development, and Market Gardening/Entrepreneurial. Please specify
which position or positions you wish to be considered for, based on
the specific job descriptions that follow, citing both what skills
you would bring to the entire Growing Hope team, and specific
qualifications for each position you wish to be considered for.

Qualified candidates for any of our positions will exhibit the

O      Desire and experience in effectively communicating with all
types of individuals and groups.

O      Experience or desire to gain knowledge of-and assist in
disseminating information about organic gardening, nutrition,
sustainability, and community food systems.

O      Desire to encourage local community members to share ideas,
talents and resources.

O      Excellent verbal and written communication skills

O      Strong organizational and management skills, including
excellent follow-through.

O      Willingness to know more about and respond to needs of
communities and schools.

O      Flexibility to work non-traditional hours, including some
evening and weekends as scheduled

O      Desire and ability to work both as part of a team and

O      Experience in coordinating and leading teams.

O      Willingness to see projects throughfrom developing to
implementing to evaluating.

O      Ability to juggle multiple projects simultaneously

O      Comfort in use of computers and technology on a daily basis

O      Willingness to adapt to changing organizational conditions and
extremely limited resources.

O      Creativity, flexibility, resourcefulness and positive thinking.

Please submit a resume, 1-2 page letter describing your interests and
qualifications, and contact information for 3 references to be
received by September 4, 2006. Electronic applications encouraged;
please email (as attachments) to Executive Director Amanda Edmonds at
amanda@growinghope.net. If mailing, please send materials to Amanda
Edmonds, Growing Hope, PO BOX 980129, Ypsilanti, MI, 48198, or drop
off at our office at 32 North Washington, Suite 2, Ypsilanti, MI
48197. After receiving materials, applicants may be asked to complete
additional application materials and be available for interviewing.
We may begin interviewing some applicants as soon as materials are
received, and encourage materials to be submitted early. Please read
on for position descriptions.


Youth/Education/Outreach. Working directly with schools throughout
Washtenaw County to develop and maintain greenhouses and/or school
gardens, this VISTA volunteer will facilitate classroom involvement,
support after-school activities, and help build the partnerships and
teams in the schools to sustain these structures over the long term.
S/he will also play a leadership role in organizing the Washtenaw
School Gardens Network and developing trainings & resources for
school gardens throughout the county. This VISTA volunteer will also
coordinate Roots & Shoots, after-school and summer entrepreneurial
garden program for youth, including developing relationships with
youth-serving organizations to become program partners. This VISTA
volunteer should have a love for and experience working with youth
and youth-serving adults in a variety of settings (including public
schools), and a working knowledge of gardening and/or greenhouse
production skills.

Responsibilities include:

7      Work directly with teachers, administrators, students and high
school interns in garden & greenhouse development and maintenance

7      At some sites, help to assemble and maintain diverse school
teams including parents, teachers, volunteers, and administrators

7      Organize, facilitate, and evaluate garden/greenhouse programs

7      Identify training and support needed among school and youth

7      Teach skills in gardening, greenhouses, food systems and
related topics to youth & youth-serving adults

7      Identify and work with partner organizations serving youth and
schools; design and facilitate garden-based program models (after-
school and summer) with these partners.

7      Assist in development of school and youth garden resource
guide and lending library materials

7      Assist in development of youth volunteer opportunities and
internship program

7      Help facilitate regional & statewide networks of school gardens

7      Assist in documenting and evaluating programs

7      Assist in fundraising

Volunteer Coordination. This VISTA member will work to build the
capacity of Growing Hope to further its mission through the support
of volunteers in all areas of programs and organizational activity. S/
he will recruit volunteers, coordinate and implement volunteer
training and management programs, develop/coordinate corporate and
group volunteer opportunities, oversee volunteers at workdays and
during programs, maintain volunteer database, and represent the
organization in the community. This VISTA member must have excellent
people skills, superb organizational and follow up skills, and be
excited about communicating the work of the organization to the public.

Responsibilities include:

7         Coordinate volunteer recruitment and training;

7         Maintain and manage volunteers and volunteer program

7         Develop and oversee organizational calendar of workdays and
programs, including Growing Hope website calendar

7               Coordinate on-site garden education as well as other
educational programs during volunteer sessions

7         Expand and utilize database for volunteer management and

7         Assist in creating and fundraising for community garden
development/training model

7         Help coordinate existing community garden volunteer leadership

7         Supervise volunteer interns, as appropriate

7         Represent the organization to community groups, other
organizations, & businesses

7         Develop and maintain partnerships with other organizations

7         Assist in documenting and evaluating programs

7         Assist in grant writing and fundraising

Marketing/Events/Fundraising. Working closely with the Executive
Director, this VISTA member will focus on fundraising, event
planning, marketing, and related administrative tasks, with the focus
on building Growing Hopes financial and organizational capacity. S/
he will concentrate on planning fundraising events, representing the
organization at community festivals and events, grant research and
writing, grant management, donor research, creation of marketing
materials (newsletter, annual report, etc), and other fundraising.
This VISTA member must be extremely well organized, computer savvy,
customer-oriented and preferably have experience in event planning,
fundraising or campaign work, and/or other areas of marketing.

Responsibilities include:

7      Plan & coordinate fundraising and other special events

7      Research, write, and manage grants

7      Develop marketing materials to aid in fundraising and general

7      Work with media to increase community awareness of gardening,
nutrition food systems and Growing Hope.

7      Coordinate fundraising solicitation process and assist in
management of donor communications

7      Planning special events (fundraising & others) along with
staff & board

7      Manage and disseminate marketing materials & maintain website

7      Coordinate production & sales of merchandise

7      Respond to inquires about the organization

7      Manage database of donors, funders, et al.

7      Represent the organization in community settings at special

7      Support other administrative & office management systems

7      Provide general staff support as needed at events, programs, etc

Training/Garden Development. This VISTA volunteer will expand
community-based garden education, develop organizational models for
community & school garden development and partnership, facilitate our
training program for community garden organizing, and work heavily
with volunteers. This VISTA volunteer needs to be exceptionally
skilled at relationship building and follow through, to support
developing and new gardens and teams of garden planners. Experience
in community organizing desirable. In addition, this position will
include fundraising and grant writing to develop resources needed to
sustain programming.

Responsibilities include:

7       Coordinate Community Garden Development Institute, including
recruitment, program facilitation, and working with new garden teams

7       Establish structure and facilitate function of Community
Garden Council

7       Work with organizations and schools who want to develop new

7       Act as a liaison to existing community gardens and garden

7       Assist with volunteer recruitment, training, and management,
especially as related to new garden development

7       Assist in raising funds and obtaining other resources for
Growing Hopes programs

7       Represent the organization to community groups, schools,
other organizations, businesses

7       Offer support to Growing Hopes school & youth garden programs

7       Assist in documenting and evaluating programs

Garden Resource Program. This VISTA volunteer will work to expand and
manage educational and material resources, in order to build the
capacity of schools, community groups, and families to have what they
need to garden. An extremely organized, detail-oriented volunteer
will create an inventory of existing materials and work to acquire
additional ones as s/he manages new Garden Resource Center and tool
lending library. Additionally, s/he will become familiar with
curricular and training materials, and work to organize, acquire, and
develop moreincluding garden learning kits for schools, training
materials for Home-Grown Health and other Growing Hope programs,
organic garden reference guides, and general resources for our School
Garden Resource Initiative. S/he will expand availability of
educational resources on the Growing Hope website. S/he may also have
the opportunity to plan and conduct trainings and educational
sessions using these materials.

Responsibilities include:

7      Launch and manage Garden Resource Center, including lending
library of tools, educational materials

7      Keep inventory of all Growing Hope resources, tools, & materials

7      Conduct outreach about the Garden Resource Center to diverse

7      Actively manage lending of materials to schools, community
groups, garden workdays, et al

7      Assist in classroom and other training sessions using our
educational resources, including assisting in training volunteers to
use materials

7      Assess needs of constituents, and generally assist in
documenting and evaluating programs

7      Develop garden resource guides and lending library materials

7      Develop and organize educational materials

7      Assist in raising funds and obtaining other resources for this
and other of Growing Hopes programs

Market Gardening/Entrepreneurial. This VISTA member will help to
develop a new emphasis in Growing Hope on entrepreneurial garden
development, as well as plan and pilot revenue-generating business
models to build the organizations financial capacity. An
entrepreneurial and innovative VISTA volunteer will help develop
business plan and strategy for revenue-generating activities that
also further the organizations mission. This person will work to
assess market potential for such activities, feasibility of
activities, and potential business models that would build both
Growing Hopes capacity and the capacity of our constituents. This
VISTA volunteer will also plan for Market Garden Development Program
and be involved with impending planning for the development of a
Growing Hope Center.

Responsibilities include:

7      Conduct feasibility study and develop business plan for
mission-related revenue-generating opportunities for Growing Hope.

7      Plan and pilot Market Garden Development Program to train
constituents and partners in garden-based business planning.

7      Work with Farmers Market to develop venue for entrepreneurial

7      Assist with running Roots & Shoots Youth Entrepreneurial Program

7      Work to raise funds for Growing Hope Center and Market Garden
Development Program.

7      Assist board of directors in planning for Growing Hope Center

7      Assist in documenting and evaluating programs


O      Monthly Stipend of $883.00

O      Medical Insurance

O      Child care assistance, if needed

O      Educational ($4,725) or cash award ($1,200) at end of term

O      Training before and during service term; Opportunities to
build resume

AmeriCorps*VISTA members serve full-time, for one year with varying
work schedules. Educational award is only available to those who
complete their term, unless extenuating circumstances exist. VISTA
members are not allowed to be in school or have other employment
during their term of service. VISTA members may be eligible for Food
Stamps or other forms of public assistance.

More information about Growing Hope is available at
www.growinghope.net. More information about VISTA and other
Corporation for National and Community Service programs, see http://
www.cns.gov/. Additional questions about Growing Hope or these
positions, please call us at 734-786-8401 or email Amanda Edmonds at

Amanda Maria Edmonds
Executive Director, Growing Hope

"We must be the change we wish to see in the world."
"To forget to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget
                     -Mahatma Gandhi

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