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What Is an International Community Service Foundation?

A Closer Look at VISIONS Foundation

What Is an International Community Service Foundation?

A Closer Look at VISIONS Foundation

In some ways, it is self-explanatory, but an international community service foundation can take many different forms and can affect positive change in multiple ways. To parse out what this looks like in practice, let’s take a closer look at the VISIONS Foundation.

WHAT IS THE VISIONS FOUNDATION?

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VISIONS Foundation, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports community-building in three primary ways:
1) contributing to development projects in under-resourced locations
2) providing scholarships to low-income students who want to build their capacity to contribute to the world
3) working within our own town of Bozeman, Montana, to create opportunities for service work and cultural understanding, particularly for local teens.

VISIONS Foundation expands upon the work already done by its sister organization, VISIONS Service Adventures, which was one of the first international community service programs for teenagers. Teens work on construction projects and other service projects in under-resourced communities that include Montana Indian reservations, Alaska native communities, and locations around the world.

The VISIONS version of an international community service foundation supports local partners to complete projects on a year-round basis and respond to their communities in times of need. The Foundation also works to support individuals who want to contribute to their local or global community through service projects, cultural exchanges, or immersive travel experiences.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

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VISIONS Service Adventures (summer programs) has worked in most of its program locations for 20 to 30 years. These long-term commitments and our emphasis on collaborative relationships with local partners bolster the effective and efficient efforts of VISIONS Foundation.

Some local nonprofit organizations make a decisive difference in their communities. These have been identified specifically for their integrity and reliability in getting the job done, sometimes on a shoestring, others solely through sheer determination and the personal efforts of individuals. These organizations effectively meet pressing needs in their communities that are not otherwise met by local or national governments.

Over many seasons in the communities in which we work, VISIONS has gained a long-view perspective on the especially productive nonprofits that quietly strive to meet their communities’ needs. These entities have earned our confidence because we have witnessed first-hand a history of the solid work they have accomplished. Furthermore, the Foundation’s support tips the scales for these organizations to strategically, successfully achieve concrete goals.

The VISIONS Foundation augments financial resources for energetic grassroots initiatives, vital work that happens apart from the projects undertaken during VISIONS summer season.

SCHOLARSHIPS

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Since its earliest seasons, VISIONS Service Adventures has awarded financial aid to at least 15% of students who attend summer programs. The participation of diverse low- and middle-income teenagers unquestionably enriches the programs while also giving these kids an equal opportunity to contribute to global communities in high-impact ways. Some of these students come through partner organizations, including Summer Search, Jack Kent Cooke Young Scholars Program, REACH Prep, and A Better Chance.

Donations to the Foundation that are earmarked for scholarships provide summer program spaces to low-income students. These program spots are above and beyond the financial aid that VISIONS Service Adventures already provides, thereby allowing greater numbers of young leaders to tap into their greatest potential through service work and cultural immersion.

Scholarships are not always limited to VISIONS summer programs. Application for financial aid may include opportunities for a young person to start a nonprofit that will help with community-building efforts, for example, or to attend another program that encourages personal growth by contributing to a local or global community.

HOME TOWN INVOLVEMENT

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We believe that effective members of any community must participate in community life wherever they live. VISIONS is proud and fortunate to be based in Bozeman, Montana, where we work to create opportunities to foster cross-cultural understanding, service work, and community-building.

The Foundation aims to work with local teens, adults, and area nonprofits through community discussions, cultural and educational activities, social gatherings, service work initiatives, and workshops.

WHAT VISIONS DOES AS AN INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SERVICE FOUNDATION

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VISIONS Service Adventures participants, leaders, and local partners have built well over a thousand structures and volunteered thousands of hours in service to under-resourced communities over the years. The following are just a few examples of projects that rely on the additional funding from VISIONS Foundation:

British Virgin Islands: infrastructure rebuilding and social services following Hurricane Irma

Cambodia: scholarship funds for local students and school infrastructure

Dominican Republic: additional classrooms at schools that are filled to capacity

Montana Reservations: home renovations and educational resources for children

Nicaragua: composting / ecological toilets and water systems for rural communities

Peru: school infrastructure improvements and water conservation work

VISIONS FOUNDATION WORKS WITH COMMUNITIES

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ALASKA: Tetlin Village Council and Tetlin Wildlife Refuge

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS: National Parks Trust, Humane Society, BVI Red Cross and Social Development

CAMBODIA: Sarus Exchange, Sports and Leadership Training (SALT) and Cambodian School Kids

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Club de Leones de Sabana Perdida and San Luis Junta de Vecinos

ECUADOR: Municipio de Patate and Parque Nacional Galápagos

GUADELOUPE: L’Office Municipal de la Culture et des Sports (OMCS), Office National des Forêts (ONF) and Association des Parents et Amis des Enfants Inadaptes (APAEI)

MONTANA BLACKFEET RESERVATION: Browning Community Development Corporation, Piegan Institute, Yellow Bird Woman Sanctuary and Montana Nature Conservancy

MONTANA NORTHERN CHEYENNE RESERVATION: Cheyenne Children Services, Chief Dull Knife College, Kids Kollege and Shoulder Blade Senior Center

MISSISSIPPI: North Gulfport Land Trust and Pascagoula River Audubon Center

NICARAGUA: Asociacion de Voluntarios Para el Desarrollo Comunitario (AVODEC) and El Centro de Entendimiento con la Naturaleza (CEN)

PERU: Programa No Estandarizado de Educación Inicial (PRONOEI)

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