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Coop Fed Welcomes Serve New York VISTAs

Our credit union delivers more than just financial services: we're a mission-driven, non-profit organization using the tools of finance to foster social justice and economic equity. That's no simple feat in a city struggling under the weight of extreme and growing poverty. Fortunately, we're not alone in this work: in addition to impactful partners, hardworking staff, and dedicated board volunteers, Coop Fed's work is propelled with help from AmeriCorps*VISTA, a national service program.

AmeriCorps*VISTA is casually referred to as "the domestic Peace Corps." Volunteers in Service to America (VISTAs) devote one year of full time service, helping to build the capacity of local anti-poverty organizations. Starting this September, for the first time, Coop Fed's VISTA team is part of Serve New York -- a cadre of VISTAs working to strengthen communities across the upstate region.

Meet Our 2018-2019 Serve New York VISTA Team!

Beth Metcalf spent the past 12 months serving at Coop Fed, through our previous VISTA project, and we're thrilled to welcome her back for another term of service. She is a Social Worker (MSW) and a PhD candidate, and has called the CNY area “home” since 2003 when she served as a VISTA with Chenango Health Network. Why she serves: “Before starting at Coop Fed, I had a long illness and spent two years virtually bedbound with little hope that I would ever get up again. It was my CNY community of friends and comrades that supported me completely and loaned me their fighting spirits when mine was no where to be found. When I started to recover, all I wanted to do was 'give back.' The people at Coop Fed have helped me channel that drive and find myself again."

Patrick Dermody is new to our team, but he's no stranger to service. He recently spent 27 months as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay, teaching Life Skills, Leadership and Entrepreneurship to high school students and conducting other community engagement work. Raised in Erieville, NY, Patrick attended Cazenovia High School and earned a BA in Economics from Connecticut College. Why he serves: "I joined the Cooperative Federal team because I wanted to be involved in Syracuse-based sustainable economic development and anti-poverty initiatives."

 

Pictured Above: Patrick (left, background) and Beth (right) kick off their VISTA year by participating in the National Day of Service. They helped with groundskeeping, cleaning and maintenance at the Friends of Farmworkers house in Syracuse. Friends of Farmworkers provides "temporary housing for immigrant farmworkers, such as injured workers, who need a safe, reliable place to stay in their time of need."

Thanks to our Supporters

Cooperative Federal's 2018-2019 VISTA Project has been made possible, in part, by support from The Service Collaborative of Western New York and the Allyn Foundation. We're grateful for their investment in our mission!

 

For more information about Coop Fed's VISTA project (including opportunities to serve next year!), contact Meagan Weatherby

 

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