Many partnerships have been formed through the work of this year’s VISTA. However, the most strategic of these partnerships are those around volunteer resources. With so much potential to use the cannery depending on the availability of volunteer groups, the VISTA acting alone could only hope to fill a small percentage of the potential opportunity. His goal was to develop a network of volunteer program staff to promote the cannery project as well.
For example, Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission (UGM) is a huge agency that has great visibility among people, especially in the faith community, who wish to volunteer. They have such high visibility that they receive too many requests from volunteers. Rather than turn folks away, it is in their interest to find another opportunity for these extra volunteers. If the volunteer coordinator at UGM knew about other programs it is easy make referrals. The system itself is rather informal but could be made more formal and systematized if desired.