‘Unprecedented amount’ of volunteers show for Day of Caring
Cheyenn Clayburn | Staff Writer
Photos courtesy of Steve Anderson
On September 10, UVU students and faculty participated in the United Way of Utah County’s Day of Caring. For this event, United Way joins with local businesses for various service projects.
The total of volunteers that attended the Day of Caring from UVU was approximately 30 students and 60 faculty members.
“This year, UVU brought an unprecedented amount of volunteers,” said Michaelann Bradley, marketing and communication manager for United Way of Utah County.
With this increase in volunteers, United Way was able to organize service projects for approximately 40 elementary schools and organizations, including Recreation and Habilitation Services, Alpine House, Community Action Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity and many others.
These schools and organizations were chosen to receive service by United Way. Once chosen, United Way matched an organization or school needing help with a local volunteering business. Amelia Earhart Elementary school was chosen for UVU to serve this year.
Prior to the Day of Caring, representatives from United Way and UVU met with Ryan McCarty, the principal of Amelia Earhart Elementary School, to determine what projects needed doing.
On the Day of Caring, participants from UVU assisted in painting the lines for the outside playground activities, weeding around the playground equipment, painting the lines for the football and soccer fields, replacing the basketball hoop nets and participating in reading activities with the children.
For the reading activities the UVU employees and students broke into groups and went into each classroom where they read a story to the children. After reading, they organized an activity with the children that pertained to the story. Once the activity was completed, the book was given to the class.
Steve Anderson, director of Community Relations and Special Projects for UVU, said that one of his favorite reading activities was when a book on architecture was read. After the reading, the children were given marshmallows and tooth picks and challenged to make the best building or structure.
“I think these reading activities make a big impact on the kids,” Anderson said. “It helps them to see that somebody cares about them, and that college is attainable.”
Aside from these service activities, UVU volunteers also refurbished old intramural soccer nets and donated them to the school for the children to use.
Bradley said that she always receives positive feedback on the Day of Caring events, and that she thinks there are two main reasons why the projects are beneficial.
“The first is that all of the volunteers get to see the difference they are making in the community,” Bradley said. “And the second reason is that doing something like this really inspires people to want to volunteer all year round.”