Volunteer Opportunities

“Every kid is ONE caring adult away from being a success story.”

–Josh Shipp



COVID-19 Update


In light of concerns around COVID-19, we’ve significantly reduced all traffic to campus, including most volunteers.  We are in the early days of welcoming our volunteers back to campus, which will happen slowly, and in stages, so that we can mitigate the spread of germs as much as possible.


Residential Mentors, Individual volunteers, and Boutique volunteers will be among the first to return.  We will keep you updated with any changes and let you know when we resume normal operations on campus. Thank you for your flexibility and understanding during this time.


For now, the easiest (and most needed) way to support the kids is to shop or share these links to our Amazon Smile Charity Wish List and our Target Charity Registry.


Before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, we typically received 3 to 6 donation drop-offs per week of clothing, hygiene products, and craft/school supplies. To limit traffic on campus, we have reduced our on-site donations, but our kids still need supplies.


For this reason, our Amazon Wish List and Target Registry have been the best way for us to continue providing clothes, personal necessities, and therapeutic items for our residents.


Click Here to Donate from Amazon

Click Here to Donate from Target


At this time, we are now accepting limited donation drop-offs on our campus. To allow adequate time to disinfect containers and carts between donations, we ask that you please schedule your donation ahead of time.  You may also be asked a few basic screening questions when you arrive at the front gate.


To schedule a donation drop off, please contact Jessica Marcetti at:

313-271-3050, ext. 118 or jmarcetti@vistamaria.org

Residential Volunteer Activities

There are many options for volunteering with the residents at Vista Maria!  Whether you choose to volunteer individually, with a friend, or as part of a larger corporate or social group, we are eager to have you host a fun and meaningful volunteer activity– no idea is too big or too small!  About 10 to 28 residents typically participate in group activities.  If you have an interest, skill, or passion, there is likely a girl at Vista Maria who loves it too!  We recently polled our residents to ask what they would love to do or learn about with volunteers and these are some of their suggestions:


Art (painting, tie dye, jewelry making)

Basic budgeting and money management

Career Information

College prep


Dancing (Step and line dancing)



Goal setting

Hair braiding

Healthy living



Life skills

Outdoor games (ladder toss, relay races, corn hole)

Pottery or clay

Pregnancy and parenting

Resume writing


Spiritual groups (all faiths)

Sports (basketball, soccer, volleyball, kickball)

Women’s Health

Please allow a minimum of two weeks’ notice to plan the event.

For more information, please contact the Volunteer Resources Team

313-271-3050, ext. 118 or jmarcetti@vistamaria.org


One-on-One Volunteering and Mentoring Opportunities

Residential Mentors

1 hour per week

Meet with your mentee once a week to discuss life in general, play board games, craft, or do other activities you both enjoy. Your mentorship will last as long as your mentee is here at Vista Maria, which is usually a 3 – 6 month commitment.

Contact: Jessica Marcetti at 313-271-3050, ext. 118 or jmarcetti@vistamaria.org

Requirements: Mentors must be female and at least 20 years of age.


Shepherd Hall Dorm Apartment (SHDA) Support Team

1 – 2 hours per week

You will be paired with a young woman, age 18 to 24, currently living in our on-campus dorm apartments.  SHDA volunteers will serve as a source of inspiration and guidance and will help our young women form a permanent connection with a caring adult.
Contact: Sharon McDonald at 313-271-3050, ext. 395 or smcdonald@vistamaria.org

Additional Volunteer Opportunities

Heartmover Spiritual Volunteers

2 – 4 hours a month

We welcome spiritual groups of all faith origins to help provide the girls in our residential programs with a good moral compass. Heartmovers perform ministry services and prayer groups for our youth.
Contact: Janet Jones at 313-271-3050, ext. 123 or jjones@vistamaria.org


Campus Beautification

Looking for a great team-building exercise for your corporate or social group? Come to Vista Maria and help us keep our facilities beautiful and comforting for our children. Projects could include landscaping, painting (indoor and outdoor) and a variety of other needs around campus.

Contact: Jessica Marcetti at 313-271-3050, ext. 118 or jmarcetti@vistamaria.org
Requirements: To best support our facilities team, projects are available with at least 30 days’ notice, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings, for at least 4 hours.


Help in The Vista Boutique

This special area is set aside for clients to peruse and select free clothes, shoes, personal products, and accessories.  We always need extra hands to help with inventory, organization, laundry, stocking shelves, and making The Vista Boutique a place where our youth feel beautiful, well-dressed, and valued.

Contact: Jessica Marcetti at 313-271-3050, ext. 118 or jmarcetti@vistamaria.org

Most Valuable Elves (MVE): Holiday Wish List Program

Our Most Valuable Elves make the holidays warm and wonderful for our youth.  Each holiday season, they go above and beyond to provide gifts and stocking stuffers for Vista Maria residents.  You can become an MVE by supporting our youth in the following ways.  For all MVE opportunities, please contact: Jessica Marcetti at 313-271-3050, ext. 118 or jmarcetti@vistamaria.org


Adopt a Wish List

Sponsor an individual child, or several children, by purchasing the four items on their personalized Wish Lists. Shoppers can expect to spend, on average, between $200 to $250 on each child’s individual list. Lists for 2020 will be available in early November.  In years past, this individualized program has filled up quickly.


Stocking Stuffers

You may choose to shop from our stocking stuffer list found here, so that we can provide extra Christmas morning goodies for our kids—and hang them with care!  These items can be found at most stores, at bargain prices.


Wish List Sponsor

Sponsor the Holiday Wish List Program by providing a monetary donation that will cover the costs of any last-minute items, or for any youth who come in right before Christmas. Click here to donate.

You can also help by providing gift cards to stores like Kohl’s, Meijer, Target and JC Penney to help us fulfill last-minute wishes.


Santa’s Helpers

Our Vista Maria Boutique and offices become the epicenter of holiday cheer every December! You can help sort and wrap gifts, and organize “Santa’s Workshop” right here on Vista Maria’s campus. Volunteer times are typically Monday-Friday, with a few special weekend opportunities.

Student Internships and Field Placements

Internships are available for academic credit in a variety of different fields at Vista Maria. We accept Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s students. Placement is limited and is granted based on the availability of supervisors in your field of study, and your hours of availability to complete your internship.  Placement is not guaranteed.  Those inquiring after the start of a semester may be placed on a waiting list for the following semester.

Contact: Liz Mitropoulos at 271-3050 ext. 164 or emitropoulos@vistamaria.org

Vista Maria READS

Vista Maria READS distributes approximately 250 books to our residents each month and has donated more than 7,000 books since its inception in 2012.  Residents may select two books each month to keep.  They are also encouraged to request books to be purchased specifically for them.  Each month, Vista Maria READS fulfills about 50 requests.


Vista Maria READS is supported entirely by donations and grants from individuals, local businesses, and community groups.  If you would like to share your love of reading and support Vista Maria READS, please consider making a tax deductible monetary donation by clicking here, and indicating Vista Maria READS in the comments, or by visiting our Amazon Wish List.


Contact: Mary Brown at vistamariareads@gmail.com.


A special thank you to our volunteer-led Vista Maria READS board:

Mary Brown

Joanne Campbell

Valada Sargent

Abby Stenback

Michelle Wheeler