January 2024

Volunteer News

You protect. You encompass. You embolden. You empower.

Hello Friends,

I hope this month's newsletter finds you well, warm, and armed with a big cup of your favorite hot beverage. Last month, you truly made the holidays wonderful for the youth at Vista Maria, so I hope your holidays were filled with just as much joy and laughter.

As we kick off the first month of the year, we're excited to dive into the world of social media volunteering. Read on for details on how you can contribute to our digital presence and help us spread the word about Vista Maria's mission.

Our first volunteer training of 2024 is later this month, so be sure to join us online on January 29 for an introduction to sensory integration that is guaranteed to be more satisfying than popping a sheet of bubble wrap.**

We also have a new team member joining our crew! While Maddie is on leave, Betsy Beerer will be sharing her marketing creativity, coordination skills, and friendly spirit with us.

More updates, highlights, and information are below. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to making a positive impact on our youth. You're the best!

I hope to see you soon,

Jessica Marcetti, MA, CVA

Senior Manager, Community Engagement

** Not actually guaranteed.

2023 Volunteer Year in Review

By the Numbers

  •  929 volunteers contributed 4,969 hours to Vista Maria this year.
  • The value of a volunteer hour in Michigan is $30.15.
  • Our volunteers gave the agency $149,815 worth of service in 2023.
  • The Vista Boutique received brand-new in-kind donations worth $133,878.

The 2023 volunteer data is presented in two sets. The first set looks at our 929 volunteers and how they came to Vista Maria, whether it was from a corporation, a church group, or other means. The second set breaks out the types of activities our volunteers did this year—how they spent those 4,969 hours.

2023 Highlights

  • Matched 36 mentee/mentor pairs.
  • Held our first Volunteer Recognition breakfast since 2019.
  • Largest Trunk or Treat ever, with 36 cars!
  • Set up a QR code form to easily submit and track specific youth requests.
  • Remote data entry volunteers helped keep boutique inventory up to date.
  • Pet therapy was on campus every month this year!

Here's to a successful year!

Welcome Betsy!

Our fabulous Marketing Coordinator, Betsy Beerer, has been with Vista Maria part-time since December 2022, and we are thrilled that she has now joined the Marketing & Fund Development Team full-time!

As many of you know, Volunteer & Mentor Coordinator, Maddie Phillips will be on leave until the spring. During that time, Betsy will be supporting the volunteer and mentoring programs, as well as our Vista Boutique.

If you have any questions about volunteering or in-kind donations, Betsy is your gal! Contact her at: ebeerer@vistamaria.org or 313-271-3050 x221

Calling All Social Media Mavens:

We Need Your Help!

Vista Maria volunteers are our very best advocates and brand ambassadors. YOU have the power to spread our mission even further. By supporting our social media efforts, you can help us reach the people who need our services, spread awareness about the needs of vulnerable youth and families, help recruit foster families, and even increase our donations!

Like & Follow

Find Vista Maria's social media pages and become a fan. Then, go one step further by opting to see our posts first on Facebook. Here’s how you can set us as a favorite.


We're actively sharing content on social media, and you can help spread those important messages – ultimately increasing reach, earning more engagements, and boosting donations. By liking, commenting, or sharing, you do all of the

above. Plus, on a personal level, your family and friends will be more likely to see your passions and celebrate what you do.


On Facebook, it’s easy to invite your friends to like a page. On the desktop version, you can click the three little dots in the left corner (underneath Vista Maria's cover photo) and click “Invite Friends.” From there, you can select anyone you’re comfortable with, and they’ll get a notification that you’d love it if they liked the page. The same option exists on LinkedIn and Instagram – where you can share the page in individual messages to people.


Share positive updates about what you’re doing or photos that show off Vista Maria’s impact. Share it on your personal social media channels and tag Vista Maria. Let people know you’re fundraising for a compelling cause, volunteering on campus, adopting a wish list, attending an event, or being honored. Because good news is always worth sharing – in person and online!

A Few Social Media Guidelines:

We recognize that your personal social media channels are just that: personal. And that’s the way it should be. While we make no effort to control what you can and cannot share, we have just a few simple requests when you’re sharing information about Vista Maria:

  1. When you discuss Vista Maria, acknowledge that you’re an employee, volunteer, or board member.
  2. Remember there’s a permanent record of what you say online, so use reasonable etiquette.
  3. Make sure what you say is factually correct.
  4. Keep confidentiality in mind. Do not post photos of youth that do not have a photo consent.
  5. Be respectful. Steer clear of any obscenity or profanity.

Online Mentor Training

Sensory Integration

Monday, January 29

5:30 - 6:30 pm

Please join us for our next mentor training! Our fabulous Values Educator, Janet Jones, will be training us on sensory integration as it applies to your mentorship with our youth. 

Learn about our immersive sensory rooms, calming boxes, and resources to help YOU support your mentee.

Contact Betsy to RSVP: ebeerer@vistamaria.org

313-271-3050 x221

Click Here to Join

Photo Album

Wish List Volunteers

Our generous, creative, festive, and FUN volunteer elves gave an incredible 345 hours of service to this year's Holiday Wish List program! They delivered donations, shopped for stocking stuffers, threw parties, wrapped gifts, judged gingerbread houses, strung up lights, and just generally brought warmth and joy.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this the best Christmas ever for the youth in Vista Maria's care. You embody the spirit of the season!

Self-Care Corner

99 Inexpensive Self-Care Ideas for Your New Year

Why does it seem like self-care often involves buying something? I'm definitely guilty of calling my Starbucks habit "self-care". So we love the free/inexpensive ideas in this article. Let us know if you try one out at home or with your mentee!

Warm Up in a Cozy Vista Maria Sweatshirt

These hoodies have been rigorously tested by our staff and volunteers. We can confirm they are excellent attire for shoveling snow, scraping ice off your windshield, the freezer aisle at Meijer, and any other chilly conditions.

Check out our Bonfire store to stock up for winter. We've tried to keep the prices low, and any profit from the sales comes right back to Vista Maria, so you can look good and DO good at the same time!

Stay in Touch!

Jessica Marcetti

Sr. Manager, Community Engagement

313-271-3050, ext.118


Maddie Phillips

Mentor & Volunteer Coordinator

313-271-3050, ext.221


(On leave until April. Please contact Betsy)

Betsy Beerer

Marketing Volunteer Coordinator

313-271-3050, ext.221


Becky Hermann

DREAM Program Manager



Janet Jones

Values Educator / Heartmovers Coordinator

313-271-3050, ext.123


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