VISTA Impact Story: Katrina
VISTA Impact Story: Katrina Huffman
McCulloch County Hunger Coalition
In her first month serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA in McCulloch County, Katrina Huffman organized the creation of content to build a newsletter and web presence to amplify reach and communications with potential donors and volunteers in the area. With experience in graphic design and photography, her skillsets were uniquely suited to the task of building websites for up to eight organizations involved in the coalition.
These efforts resulted in the successful launch of a website for the non-profit Sara’s Shared Dream. The goal was for this site to serve as an example for the other organizations in the coalition who were interested in taking their efforts online. Key objectives of the website included
- To be an easy hub to safely accept donations
- To automatically generate receipts
- To provide information and timing on resources available for food assistance
- To locally model action to solve hunger in the community
- To organize email contact by those interested in volunteering and those in need of help
- To set up and monitor KPI (key performance indicators) through analytics to evaluate local impact and growth
After analyzing local demographics, Katrina proposed a monthly newsletter at the coalition meeting. The main goals of the newsletter will be to share upcoming news from each of the organizations in the coalition, issue the monthly calendar for food distribution and delivery, and communicate successful events via the media. Katrina designed a logo for cohesive branding on the newsletter and all social platforms, and it was enthusiastically approved, to be adopted into use in early August for the first published newsletter.
Katrina led a small social media campaign for San Angelo Gives, and helped Sara’s Shared Dream to double their fundraising goal of $5,000. This funding made possible the purchase of 21 crockpots for the ACE summer school’s enrichment class, Crockin’ with Kids, which Katrina assisted in teaching alongside Texas AgriLife extension agent, Jacque Behrens. The ACE program is comprised primarily of children from low-income households, and the class included nutrition education and cooking lessons that focused on sanitary and safe kitchen practices with knives and heat. Upon completion, each student took home their own crock pot and recipes composed of health focused and affordable ingredients.
The McCulloch County Hunger Coalition board members are thrilled to see the individual organizations come together for mutual purpose, and have already noticed an uptick in community interest and participation through marketing and communication efforts. In the next month, Katrina intends to work with each organization’s individual representative to evaluate areas where growth or change is requested or necessary, and to finalize the Needs Assessment Questionnaire and interview plan of action with McCulloch County Hunger Coalition board member, Deborah Probst.