Written by Chelsea Emrich
If you go to Utah Valley University you know how awesome the school. What you may not be aware of are all the service opportunities that are offered daily at UVU.
UVU has a great Volunteer and Service-Learning department. The department organizes various activities and gets students involved with local nonprofits.
One important cause they participate in is the UV “You Can” Food Pantry. The food pantry is put on by the service center in partnership with Community Action Services and Food Bank. It is an on-campus food pantry for students who are facing food insecurity. The purpose of the food pantry is to decrease student food insecurity, increase healthy eating choices, and help improve student retention numbers. You can donate to the food bank by looking out for various food drives on campus as well as taking food to the Community Action Services and Food Bank at 815 S. Freedom Blvd in Provo.
The center also organizes daily tutoring sessions for grades k-12. These tutoring sessions are held both at UVU in the SCUP Annex as well as at the South Franklin Community Center. Both sessions are M-F from 3-5. You can volunteer as a tutor by contacting Rachelle (801-863-6310) or Bethany (801-863-6372). On Thursday nights from 6:30-8pm the center runs a program called Giant Steps. This program is an early intervention program run through Wasatch Mental Health. UVU student volunteers work with preschool-aged children who have autism. This program has grown tremendously during the last year to include not only childcare on Thursday nights, but also a date night program for parents, community events, and daytime facilitation. This program requires some training before volunteering, if interested email for more information at [email protected].
The council has also organized a student volunteer group for Friday’s Kids Respite. FKP is a place where parents can bring their children with disabilities for free child care while they attend classes to learn more about how to help their kids. UVU student volunteers help facilitate the childcare efforts. They work with the Lehi and Salem locations providing student volunteers throughout the school year.
The service council frequently organizes and coordinates volunteers for Habitat for Humanity. Through volunteer labor, professional expertise and tax-deductible donations, Habitat for Humanity obtains land and builds simple and reliable homes in Utah County for families in need. Families who meet our qualifications help build, then purchase the home at no profit for the organization. The families monthly payments go into a revolving fund to help build more homes. Families must have need, be able to pay, and be willing to partner with the organization. New homeowners have a unique pride in this home, which has given them a “hand up”, not a “hand-out.” Students can volunteer along side the family in building their future home. The UVU service center has a project coming up March 1st. Contact Troy Jacobs at [email protected] or call 801-835-9859 for more information or to sign up for this project.