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Vista Maria READS Promotes Wellness Through Literacy

Located on a 37-acre campus in Dearborn Heights is a safe haven where vulnerable youth receive care, support, treatment and education so that they may heal, believe in their worth and build the skills necessary to succeed in life. This is the mission of Vista Maria, one of Michigan’s oldest and largest private, non-profit residential treatment agencies for girls. The experience and support provided by Vista Maria can be life changing, and transformational. It’s something that ITC Sr. Real Estate Specialist Barb Mention has witnessed firsthand as a Vista Maria volunteer.

Barb started volunteering with Vista Maria through her church’s US Ministry two years ago. “It started with a ‘day of pampering’ event for the girls, but we quickly realized that we wanted to do more,” says Barb, who volunteers monthly at various outings for the girls such as bowling events, museum visits and talent shows. Barb has even passed on her passion for Vista Maria to her own granddaughters, who were in the foster care system. “It’s hard for the girls in the program to open up. It takes time. But after a few months you start to see a change. They start to open up, start to trust. I know I’ll be volunteering there for as long as I can.”

Barb encouraged Vista Maria to apply for an ITC Charitable Giving grant to support Vista Maria READS, a program designed to instill a love of reading among the girls in residential care. What began as a book fair has grown into a monthly book distribution program that issues an average of 250 books each month. With ITC’s support, Vista Maria will be able to provide books for an entire year. Says Vista Maria, “We are hopeful that through this program, many young women are developing a habit of reading that will stay with them forever.”

To learn more about volunteering or supporting Vista Maria READS, please visit: HTTPS://WWW.VISTAMARIA.ORG/VOLUNTEER/

The ITC Charitable Giving Program

The ITC Charitable Giving Program focuses on five key areas to help strengthen our communities and reflect the values of ITC. Those include education, environmental stewardship, social services, health & wellness and arts & culture.

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