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United Way crippled by shutdown

By Rosa Duarte, Reporter, RDuarte@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 11 2013 09:07:17 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 11 2013 10:06:10 PM CDT

AmeriCorps VISTAs or Volunteers in Service to America make a full-time one year commitment to volunteer at a nonprofit organization or public agency.

AmeriCorps VISTAs or Volunteers in Service to America make a full-time one year commitment to volunteer at a nonprofit organization or public agency.

Kate Pitts and Ashley Sciora are two such volunteers who work at the United Way.

“For me, it's a professional development opportunity but more than anything it's an opportunity to give back to where I'm from and make a difference,” said Pitts.

However, with their paycheck coming from the federal government, both Pitts and Sciora haven't made a dime since October 5th due to the shutdown.

And because they're in the VISTA program, they're out of options to make any additional money.

“Part of being in AmeriCorps VISTAS means that you are committed entirely to your project so you can't take any outside employment whatsoever, even a babysitting job,” said Pitts.

Despite not getting paid, Sciora and Pitts have kept showing up to work and putting in their 40 hours regardless.

“It's a humbling experience to be a public servant and work for the community and to know that we have people so dedicated to helping us in serving their community,” said Lenore Mohr, director of marketing and communications with the United Way.
Sciora says she gets her inspiration to keep going from the very people she's committed to helping.
“They're in pretty much the same boat, if something bad happens and or if there is some sort of setback everybody has to still get up and go to work in the morning everybody has to proceed and do whatever you have to do to make it through the next day,” she said.