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Faces of Service: Serve New York VISTA

Published on Monday, December 23, 2019

Faces of Service: Serve New York VISTA

Cheri Vogelbaum, VISTA Member 2019

Cheri's Story

Everyone has passions. Mine are art and community. I learned to sew, embroider, and crochet as a girl. Ever since, sewing, jewelry making, and other creative pursuits have enriched my life. But the greatest benefits of these activities have been courage and confidence in my ability to create beneficial things of value. My creative endeavors have helped me to become a confident creator and leader. I wanted to work within an organization that helps others discover the same strength in themselves.

I was very excited to see the Development and Operations Manager position at Stitch Buffalo through the Americorps VISTA program. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in business to use the analytical and organizational skills of the for-profit world in a cultural non-profit. I understand that worthwhile community organizations don’t happen by accident; they thrive only with teamwork, organization, a strategic plan which keys actions to goals, innovative fundraising ideas, and committed, energetic follow-through.

The mission of Stitch Buffalo is advancing social justice for refugee women in Buffalo, NY by creating opportunities for cross-cultural exchange and economic empowerment through the textile arts. From researching and making a recommendation for a point of sale/inventory system, which is a very measurable metric, to the priceless interactions with our refugee clients, the service I perform every day helps Stitch Buffalo more effectively achieve this mission.

In 2019, Serve New York AmeriCorps VISTA members provided support, services, and education to 10,207 individuals to alleviate long term hunger, with 3,562 reporting increased food security as a result; 6,411 individuals received information on health insurance, health care access and health care benefits because of AmeriCorps VISTA members; and members managed and recruited 3,694 volunteers to serve 19,115 hours at 24 area nonprofits.

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