OSM/VISTA Volunteers fight issues that overwhelm many small organizations: degraded environments, minimal resources, limited partnerships and the challenge of doing work that is often entirely volunteer-based. Our OSM/VISTAs have an impact on these issues, their communities and the region by serving under the following five core goals:
1. Build local capacity OSM/VISTAs assist their grassroots non-profit hosts in strategic long-term organizational planning, in the preparation and submittal of grant proposals to secure funding, in the facilitation of local and regional partnerships, and in the recruitment and training of volunteers. Read more about building local capacity.
2. Engage Economic Redevelopment The Coal Country Team supports community revitalization through economic redevelopment projects that increase awareness, understanding and access to local history, culture, and the continuing relationship between the river and the community. Read stories about economic redevelopment in Appalachia.
3. Promote Environmental Stewardship The Coal Country Team promotes environmental stewardship in at-risk ecosystems by supporting watershed research and water-quality monitoring critical to future funding, project development and implementation, and community support. Read how the Coal Country Team is promoting Environmental Stewardship.
4. Enhance Outreach and Education The ultimate success of any of our projects depends on the involvement of the local communities where our OSM/VISTAs serve – getting the word out through outreach and educational activities helps foster local ownership of projects and leads individuals to take action. Read stories about our work in outreach and education.
5. Promote Professional Development Serving with the Coal Country Team is not only a benefit and opportunity for the sponsoring organization, but also an opportunity for the individual serving the Team. All Team sponsors support the professional development of their OSM/VISTA member to broaden his or her ability to engage with watershed and community development issues and enhance his or her opportunities for professional growth. Read what our OSM/VISTAs learned while serving with the ACCT.