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Appalachian Coal Country Team

Become a community sponsor for an OSM/VISTA

"We have had three OSM/VISTAs over the last 5 years. These positions provide us with a shot in the arm that we need to continue to work in impoverished communities. If my organization could secure the funding to sponsor more than one OSM/VISTA, we most certainly would." -- Robert Hughes, Executive Director, EPCAMR

OSM/VISTA Jenna Fehr raises awareness about watersheds and stormwater at the Piney Creek Watershed Association's festival in Beaver, WV

The Appalachian Coal Country Team (ACCT) functions as an umbrella organization, providing watershed/community improvement groups in Appalachia with OSM/VISTA Volunteers, Summer Interns and Summer Associates to promote economic development and environmental change at the grassroots level. Learn more about the ACCT and OSM/VISTAs here.

Local organizations that partner with the ACCT receive an OSM/VISTA Volunteer Project for a total of three years and enjoy the support that the Team provides: training, informational resources, access to a network of peer organizations and more.

To sponsor an OSM/VISTA, an organization must:

  • Be a 501(c)3 non-profit organization (or have the sponsorship of a non-profit or other local agency — such as a Soil & Water Conservation District, County Commission, a local RC&D, etc).
  • Demonstrate the capacity for effective supervision and support for an OSM/VISTA member.
  • Develop a project work plan that reflects the Coal Country Team's Core Goals.
  • Sign a Memorandum of Agreement.
  • Be able and willing to pay the fringe cost of hosting an OSM/VISTA Volunteer (travel, office, mailing, printing, etc).

OSM/VISTA Miranda Shoemaker accepts funding for the Armstrong Conservation District after she wrote and received a $1.5 million grant for the organization in Kittanning, PA

We encourage you to contact the ACCT to discuss whether or not this opportunity is right for your community. Contact:

April Trent, Team Director

Project Application

*further instructions given in Step 1 document

Step 1: Application - A narrative of your organization, your community's need, the logistics of OSM/VISTA sponsorship, and the goals of your project.

Step 2: Project Plan - A 3-year plan that documents the activities and objectives for each year of the VISTA project, the measurable outcomes and deliverables, and describes a path toward organizational sustainability.

Step 3: VAD - The VISTA Assignment Description (VAD) lays out the activities conducted by the OSM/VISTA during their term of service.