Welcome to our new AmeriCorps Volunteers

The United Way of Southern West Virginia is pleased to welcome Marsha Shonk and Mary-Kate Bostick to our team! For the next year, Marsha will be serving as our LifeBridge AmeriCorps Information and Referral Specialist, supporting our 2-1-1 Information and Referral Hotline and our neighbors in need. Mary-Kate will also be completing a year of service through AmeriCorps VISTA, continuing to support our flood-affected counties and build resiliency in depressed southern WV communities.

Marsha Shonk, our 2-1-1 Information and Referral Specialist LifeBridge AmeriCorps member, greets all visitors to the United Way and answers our 2-1-1 Information hotline.

This spring, we were approached by our former Executive Director, Margaret Ann O’Neal, about expanding the 2-1-1 Information and Referral Hotline in all of West Virginia. After being educated on this service, which alleviates non-emergency calls to 911, collects data to pinpoint the community’s greatest needs, and provides referrals to individuals caught in a bind, we knew that we wanted to be a part of this work. Collaboratively with our County Commissions in southern West Virginia, we were able to pool together the funds for an AmeriCorps volunteer to lead this project. The AmeriCorps member is responsible for updating the database with current resources and answering the hotline calls during our normal business hours, 8am to 4pm. Now, whenever a 2-1-1 call is dialed in Southern West Virginia, they are connected to our office where Marsha can listen to their situation and refer them to the agencies that are most likely to help them. This service is integral to the success of our communities, and we are thrilled to have someone as hard working, determined, and positive as Marsha spearheading this new project of ours! Marsha’s previous AmeriCorps VISTA experience with the town of Whitesville makes her an incredible asset to strengthening our work in southern West Virginia. Marsha can be reached via e-mail at mshonk@unitedwayswv.org.

Our new AmeriCorps VISTA already hard at work collecting statistics for our 2018-2019 Campaign brochure.


Mary-Kate comes to us from Marshall University with a degree in Political Science. Her role as AmeriCorps VISTA is to assist our Community Impact Coordinator in building capacity for our United Way through community relationships, program development, and increased visibility throughout our service area.  She will be assisting in ongoing flood recovery work while helping to improve resiliency in southern West Virginia by providing access to improved health, education, and financial stability to residents of our community. AmeriCorps VISTAs serve across the country with the mission of alleviating poverty for individuals and families in the United States. We are lucky to have Mary-Kate as part of our crew for the next year and are excited to see how her unique perspective can improve our work. Mary-Kate can be reached via e-mail at mkbostick@unitedwayswv.org.


For more information on AmeriCorps National Service Programs, you can visit Volunteer West Virginia’s website here our state’s Commission for National and Community Service. Additionally, you can visit the National AmeriCorps website here.