Valentine cards for military, veterans.

January 10, 2017

americorpsvista_shelbysoberalskisarahmcmahonValentine cards for military, veterans.

LUDINGTON — Local AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) members are observing Martin Luther King Jr. Day by creating Valentine’s cards for active military personnel and military veterans from this area.

AmeriCorps is an anti-poverty program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. AmeriCorps VISTA members are paired with host sites to positively impact low-income populations by creating or expanding programs designed to bring individuals and communities out of poverty. Members make a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. AmeriCorps VISTA members expand the ability of their sponsor organizations to achieve lasting solutions to poverty.

Locally, there are two AmeriCorps VISTA members, Sarah McMahon, serving as program director for the Lakeshore Food Club, and Shelby Soberalski, serving with the Pennies From Heaven Foundation. McMahon and Soberalski focus on local initiatives pertaining to food security among low-income households, early literacy in children, safe and affordable housing, and resource availability for those in need of assistance.

As part of their AmeriCorps VISTA service requirements, they are tasked with celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day and encouraging other community members to give back in different forms of service and activities. McMahon and Soberalski decided that a fun and interactive way to promote service would be to create Valentine’s Day Cards for Military Veterans and Military personnel from our area. With the help from local senior citizens and elementary school students, they are aiming to create over 100 cards on January 16, 2017.

The VISTA member’s goals are to build sustainability and capacity within organizations by building infrastructure, expanding community partnerships, securing long-term resources, coordinating training for participants, and much more. Rather than providing direct services to individuals, VISTAs focus their efforts to build the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of organizations that assist low-income communities.

If you or a loved one is a military veteran or active military personnel, and would like to receive a card or see that one is sent, please send an address to Shelby at

For more information regarding the AmeriCorps MLK Day of Service, please visit

For more information about the AmeriCorps programs, please visit