Jul 23, 2010 12:53 PM by Marnee Banks (KXLH-Helena)

VISTA volunteers sworn-in in Helena

A group of new VISTA volunteers will be heading out across Montana in the upcoming weeks.

On Thursday, the 42 volunteers were sworn in on the Capitol steps in Helena. Due to federal stimulus dollars running out, Montana lost about 50 of its volunteers. Last year over 100 students gave their time to Montana and this year it's about half that.

"Community service is very difficult work, but it carries tremendous rewards for all of us. This type of work, helps to build supportive communities, a stronger state and a more caring nation," said Denise Juneau, the Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The VISTA program is grant funded and administered through the Department of Public Health and Human Services. Volunteers will spend their time with organizations that fight poverty.

WEB EXTRA: click here to learn more about AmeriCorps. Here's a brief overview from the website:

What is AmeriCorps VISTA? AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965 and incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993, VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America for more than 40 years.

What VISTA Members Do: VISTA members commit to serve full-time for a year at a nonprofit organization or local government agency, working to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses, strengthen community groups, and much more. With passion, commitment, and hard work, you’ll create or expand programs designed to bring individuals and communities out of poverty.


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