Preparing Day of Caring

The United Way of Utah County is set to host their annual Day of Caring, a day where UVU students, faculty and the community participate in various service projects around the county.

This year’s Day of Caring project for UVU will be held Thursday at Sharon Elementary School, located a few minutes northeast of campus. The service project will involve painting pavement games on a playground at the school, including an alphabet caterpillar, hopscotch patterns and a map of the United States.

“We’re going to be painting at least 12 to 15 games on the ground,” said Natasha Carlton, AmeriCorps Vista volunteer. “Some of them will be repainting, but it’ll be fun. I wish we would have had these games when I was little.”

The service project aims to encourage young children within the community to be physically active. According to the United Way, around 60 percent of residents in Utah County achieve the recommended level of physical activity, higher than the 51 percent recorded for the rest of the U.S. population.

Thirty-seven volunteers have signed up for this year’s project at the local elementary, compared to the 20 volunteers that participated in 2011 for a different project. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, Utah ranks No. 1 across the country for volunteers, with 44.5 percent of residents donating their time to volunteer.

Laura Christopherson, program coordinator of the Volunteer and Service Learning Center, participated for the Day of Caring in 2011.

“I really enjoyed being out in the community, being with coworkers and students, and working alongside everyone to make this project come together. To see everyone collaborating on a common effort was pretty incredible to see. It was pretty touching for me.”

Christopherson said she plans to volunteer again this year.

“I’ve RSVPd for the event. It’s a great event, one that I really enjoyed participating in.”

Volunteers are invited to have breakfast near the north entrance of Lavell Edwards Stadium at BYU at 7:30 a.m. From there, participants will section off into different sites around the county for service projects. The project site for UVU was chosen for its proximity to campus, allowing volunteers to return to school easily.

“They’ll have oranges and bagels, they’ll cook breakfast [at Lavell Edwards Stadium],” Carlton said. “We’ll have snacks and water for our volunteers, so don’t worry—things will be provided for our volunteers.”

Students, faculty and staff interested in volunteering for the Day of Caring can sign-up in the Volunteer and Service Learning Center, located on the second floor of the Losee Center.

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