September 2023

Volunteer News

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

Happy fall, y'all!

Are you ready to get to work? I hope so, because this month's newsletter has tons of volunteer opportunities as we head into our busiest and most FUN time of year at Vista Maria. There are SO many great things coming up, so read on to find the best way for you to get involved and help our youth make joyful childhood memories.

I'd like to call out one opportunity in particular-- our 1:1 Mentoring program. We have a waiting list of youth who would like to be matched with a mentor. Even if you are not able to mentor, I hope you will share this need with the women in your life. We are looking for female volunteers over 20 years old, who have one hour per week to share with a youth on our campus. If this sounds like you, please get in touch with Maddie ( to get started!

Whether you deck out your car for Trunk-or-Treat, join us at Dolly Drive (our last fundraising event of the year), become a Mentor, adopt a wish list, spread the word about foster care, or help us with our data entry backlog, you are part of our family of fearless supporters, and we can’t wait to see you soon!

Jessica Marcetti, MA, CVA

Senior Manager, Community Engagement

Volunteer Spotlight:

Northville High School Cheer Team

If you are in Beata Hall, you may hear cheers and chants down the hallway. Our youth learned Vista Maria cheers and a dance routine during their 3- day cheer clinic. Smiles, laughter, and fun were had during their time with the Northville High School student athletes.

Thank you, Mustangs!

Volunteer Opportunity:


Monday, October 30

4pm - 6pm

In the spirit of our foundress, Sr. Mary Euphrasia, who was known for sharing candy with the youth she cared for, we are continuing the annual tradition of “Trunk or Treat." Staff & volunteers will park our cars on the road around campus and residents will visit each vehicle for a spooktacular treat!

This event is rain or shine! However, a rain date will be identified if there are storms in the forecast.

Volunteers will...

  • Drive to campus and park along the route
  • Decorate your car, play festive music, and wear a costume if you choose.
  • Bring candy/treats to pass out – enough for 85 kids.
  • Pass out candy to our residents!

Notes on Candy

  • Volunteers are responsible for providing candy or treats.
  • Plan for 2-3 pieces of candy or one treat (such as a bag of chips) per person
  • Please, no gum, peanuts, lollipops, or taffy
  • Many variety pack candy bags have these items in them, so please remove those candies if you use these
  • Non-edible treats like stickers or small toys are welcome, but please have these items approved by Maddie ahead of time.

Want to join the fun?

Contact Maddie Phillips at or sign up below:

Sign up here!

Get Ready for Wish List 2023!

What kind of elf are you?

Every year, our volunteer "elves" generously go above and beyond to provide stocking stuffers for each youth, fulfill individual wish lists, and get everything organized, wrapped, and festive in our Vista Boutique. We hope you'll join us this year!

Shopper Elf

Grant the wishes of an individual child, or several children, by purchasing all four items on their personalized Wish Lists. Shoppers can expect to spend between $200 to $300 on each child’s list. This is a great holiday activity for families or groups to do together!

Lists for 2023 will be available in early November. This program fills up quickly, so be sure to sign up soon. Email Jessica or...

Adopt a Wish List

Stocking Elf

Help fill our youths’ stockings with extra goodies by purchasing items from our stocking stuffer list. These items can be found at most stores and on our Amazon and Target wish lists.

Angel Elf

Sponsor the Holiday Wish List Program by providing gift cards to stores like Kohl’s, Meijer, Target, and Amazon to help us fulfill last-minute wishes.

You may also consider donating online to cover the costs of gifts for any youth who come in right before Christmas.

Workshop Elf

Our Vista Maria Boutique and offices become the epicenter of holiday cheer every December! You can help sort and inventory gifts and organize “Santa’s Workshop” right here on Vista Maria’s campus. Volunteer times are typically 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday-Friday.

Contact Jessica at to adopt a wish list or Maddie at to volunteer.

Volunteer Opportunity:

Dolly Drive

Thursday, October 12

at Detroit Shipping Co.

This event is a lot of fun, and it benefits our foster care and adoption programs.

You can help us make it the best one ever by volunteering for one of these available volunteer shifts!

Contact Maddie to sign up:

Volunteer Opportunity:

Be a Residential Mentor

One of our greatest needs, we currently have 5 youth on our waiting list who would like to be matched with a mentor.

Mentors must be women, who are at least 20 years old, and can commit to meeting with their mentee on Vista Maria's campus for 1 hour each week.

Contact Maddie Phillips at for more information!

Volunteer Opportunity:

Remote Data Entry

If you are organized, a whiz with Excel, and available for about 10 hours of service, this role is made for you!

To keep our Boutique running smoothly, we need help entering our inventory sheets into Excel, so we can track what kinds of donations we have received and still need.

We have quite a backlog at the moment, so we really need your help!

The best news? You can do this in the comfort of your home!

Sign up here

Volunteer Opportunity:

Detroit Harvest Fest & Food Truck Rally

Detroit Harvest Fest & Food Truck Rally

October 7 & 8, 11am - 8pm

Dequindre Cut Greenway, Detroit

Vista Maria has a beverage stand at this year's Harvest Fest & Food Truck Rally, selling pop and water while raising awareness about foster care!

Three time slots are available, and we need 2 to 3 Volunteers per shift.

Parking passes, and additional free event tickets will also be available!

Sign Up Now!

Education Opportunity:

2023 Empower Virtual Conference

Identifying and Responding to

the Online Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Youth

Thursday, September 21st, 2023

11:30 AM – 4:00 PM (EST)


This annual event is designed to train and equip community members, professionals, and advocates to address human trafficking through collective action. We will hear from lived-experience experts and Michigan-based professionals on the nature and scope of online sexual exploitation of youth in Michigan. Our speakers will help identify gaps in services and opportunities for reform and provide helpful tips and resources for parents and professionals to protect and empower the youth in their lives to stay safe from online predators.

Self-Care Corner

Volunteers tend to stay involved in many activities, so it's important to take care of yourselves too! Here is a seasonal overnight oats recipe to help you stay fueled throughout your busy fall days!

Check out the Full Recipe Here!

Wear Your Fearless Heart on Your Sleeve

There are some new designs, colors, and styles in our Bonfire store! Be sure to check it out and stock up for fall. 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

Maddie Phillips

Mentor & Volunteer Coordinator

313-271-3050, ext.221

Connie Farlow

Donor Engagement Coordinator

313-271-3050, ext.400

Becky Hermann

DREAM Program Manager


Janet Jones

Values Educator / Heartmovers Coordinator

313-271-3050, ext.123

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