Steve Hamaker, Greater Wyoming Big Brothers Big Sisters

AmeriCorps has allowed us the opportunity to recruit more volunteers to serve more children.  The most exciting piece for our organization is that AmeriCorps has allowed us to bring in a wide variety of people with different skill sets, personalities, and diversity.  With our very diverse population of clients, this has allowed us to better meet the needs of the people we serve.  We currently have an AmeriCorps volunteer that is responsible for doing activities with our unmatched children.  In the past, when we have tried to invite these kids to an activity, the response is usually about half.  Our AmeriCorps member decided that half was not enough and decided to set a personal goal to get at least 90% attendance.  Thus far, she has gotten 100%.  She has been very methodical about the activities that she planned and has called and given them personal invites and even been willing to go and pick the kids up.  She has eliminated all of the barriers and is now starting to see them come to more activities because the kids don’t want to miss out.  These activities have allowed the rest of the staff to get better acquainted with the children and thus do a better job of matching.