Hundreds turn out for Community Outreach Day

Reading Time: 2 minutes Volunteers from Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University team up for Community Outreach Day

Reading Time: 2 minutes
More than 700 people attended the Community Outreach Day on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 21 at the Wilkinson Student Center on the BYU campus.


With 31 different service projects, volunteers could choose from tying blankets for Juvenile Justice, making flash cards for Mountainland Headstart or donating to a blood drive. The event began in the morning and continued for five hours.


A welcome ceremony took place at 9:00 a.m, beginning with Bill Hulterstrom, president and CEO of United Way of Utah County, who gave the opening speech to help inspire all the volunteers.


“We can all make a difference, my hope is that it’s a positive difference,” Hulterstrom said.

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Theodore Okawa, community service coordinator for the BYU Center for Service and Learning, gave a walk-through tour of the project area.


The Wilkinson Student Center became a community center in those five hours, as students worked with local families piece together different projects and share ideas to make them more meaningful to the local community.


Students from both UVU and BYU worked together to organize the event.


“We were making it a community event, not just a student event,” said Justin Chang, the student program director at BYU.


Chang began planning the event back in July 2012 and worked with Amanda Decker, the student program director for UVU, as well as working with the United Way of Utah County.


Casey Peterson, director for the Center for Service and Learning at BYU, also spoke to volunteers, as well as Andrew Grisson, BYU Student Program director.


“When I think about the monument and icon of Dr. King, I think about the service that each one of us can give on our everyday basis and allow ourselves to shine as he did,” Grisson said.


In the end, people came to serve and seemed to enjoy working with and meeting new people.


“I think it’s way awesome, a lot of different organizations [that came] together to do something for the same cause,” said a volunteer from UVU, who attended the event with two of his roommates. “It was a really good opportunity.”