“It’s No Mystery” Why We Support United Way of Salt Lake!

Megan Richardsby Megan Richards
Community Investment Advisor

If you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk.”

I think about this phrase every day as I go out into the community, telling people about the game-changing work we are doing, and asking my audience to consider donating to United Way of Salt Lake. This last month I have seen the entire staff at UWSL “walk the walk” by giving generously during our internal workplace campaign!

The theme of our campaign was “It’s No Mystery Why We Support United Way,” and we had a lot of fun with this detective-inspired genre. We worked together to solve the mystery of who “changed the odds” with the heads of each of our departments as the main “suspects”. We went on site visits to our community schools to inspect the “scenes” of where change happened, and we listened to presentations about the “tools” used to change the odds.Guadalupe TourWhile we were having fun and learning more details about the work going on in our community, we were able to demonstrate how we all believe in, and personally support, the work of United Way of Salt Lake. 100 percent of our staff participated in our giving campaign, resulting in over $1000 donated per capita! It is truly a privilege to work with such a charitable and dedicated group of people, and so I want to say thank you to my colleagues who remind me daily why I “talk the talk” and “walk the walk.”

IMG_1857Thank you for laughing loudly, giving generously, and LIVING UNITED.


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Thank You, Deborah!

Bill by Bill Crim

Sixteen years ago, I met Deborah Bayle as she became CEO of United Way of Salt Lake (I was the Executive Director of a partner organization at the time). I was instantly impressed by her leadership and vision. We became partners and friends – working together closely as UWSL’s Board began to provide much needed leadership in the area of public policy advocacy.

Deborah BayleFive years later, Deborah was making space for me to join the UWSL team and giving me the chance to contribute to an organizational transformation that has positioned both UWSL and our broader community to achieve social change at an unprecedented scale. For the past nearly 11 years, I have been fortunate to work alongside and learn from Deborah, and to be part of the amazing team of Board volunteers and talented staff she has assembled here.

BIll and DeborahToday, I am humbled and honored to follow Deborah as the new CEO of United Way of Salt Lake. Our journey, from a United Way that works largely alone to provide funding to programs, to a United Way that engages entire communities in partnerships working to solve complex social problems, has been truly incredible. This kind of change, and the results it has achieved, only occurs when many people are working together, but I can honestly say that it would not have been possible without Deborah’s courage and talent as a leader.

As we move forward, we know that our Promise Partnerships with schools, local governments, nonprofit organizations, businesses, churches, and others are transforming the way people work together and achieving results no one could achieve alone.  Building on this foundation, we are committed to achieving the vision established under Deborah’s leadership – that every child is healthy from birth, successful in school through college, and financially stable in their adult lives.



Why Do Target Employees Give to UWSL? ‘If you want to feel good, do good’!

Mike Wattsby Mike Watts
Community Investment Advisor

Target team members understand that in order to have a strong business, the surrounding community needs to be healthy. Supporting communities by giving to United Way has been a cornerstone of Target’s business since 1962. This legacy of longstanding commitment to community engagement is a source of pride for Target team members.

Target Here is what a few have to say about why they give:

“When I follow the motto ‘If you want to feel good, do good’, I feel a sense of happiness and peace. Helping others gives me the opportunity to make connections with people I might not otherwise have the opportunity to meet. Giving to others brings me joy, reduces my stress level, and helps me put my own life into perspective.”
~ Dayna, Target Team Member

“The reason I give is because earlier on in life I needed the help and support of the United Way for my kids. Now that I am able, I make sure to donate every year and give back to help others since I needed help at one point.”
~ Karen, Target Team Member

“Growing up with a single dad who took care of 4 girls, I knew he was wearing himself thin and I knew my sisters and I were not helping his stress. Then, he started making me and my two older sisters to go to a afterschool program close by our house. The program helped us with homework and we made friends with Kellie, who taught us how to respect others and ourselves. I later found out that this program was funded by United Way and I have given every year since working here. I know it’s not much, but my circumstances could have been very different had it not been for those volunteers and United Way.”
~ Anonymous Team Member

I give because I can; you never know when something is going to drastically change in your life, and you never know when you will need that help and support.”
~ Laurie, Target Team Member

“I got involved in my first United Way campaign in 1990 as the coordinator and have been leading campaigns for Target stores for the last 25 years. I have seen the direct results that United Way plays in our community and how it serves individuals. I have enjoyed each campaign and enjoy sharing the benefits to my team during our United Way campaigns.”
~ Bert, Target Team Member

Because Bert has been giving for over 20 years, he and other Target Team Members who have been giving for this long are recognized as a Diamond Donors. To learn more about United Way of Salt Lake’s Donor Networks, visit www.uw.org/donornetworks.

Thank you to all the Target team members who pledge to GIVE, ADVOCATE, and VOLUNTEER by working with United Way of Salt Lake. You are truly helping to make our community a better places to live and work.

Thank you for taking care of our community! Way to LIVE UNITED!

Young American Leaders Program Looks to Promise Partnerships!

scott-mcleodby Scott McLeod
Senior Director, Network Partnerships

During the second week of June, Harvard Business School launched a new initiative titled the Young American Leaders Program, or YALP. The reason? They believe that America’s future economic prosperity will not be determined at the federal level with national policy, but rather at the local level, where cities and towns will lead the world in entrepreneurialism, creating clusters of industry and experimentation.

What does all of this have to do with United Way of Salt Lake? Well, they also happen to believe that the key to local prosperity lies with cross-sector, multi-stakeholder partnerships, so they went searching the country for the cities on the leading edge of this work and UWSL’s Promise Partnerships caught their attention. Due to the incredible Collective Impact work we are a part of (work that collaborates deeply with education, business, government, philanthropy, volunteers, and many more), ten “young American leaders” from Salt Lake were selected to attend the four day conference in Cambridge, joining other cities from across the country.

YALPThe Utah participants were:

Martin Bates — Superintendent, Granite School District

Amber Clayton — Principal, Granger Elementary School

Jose Enriquez — Founder & Executive Director, Latinos in Action

Greg Hughes — Speaker, Utah House of Representatives

Scott McLeod — Senior Director, Network Partnerships, United Way of Salt Lake

John Miller — Assistant General Manager, Mark Miller Toyota

Mikelle Moore — Vice President, Community Benefit, Intermountain Healthcare

Jon Pierpont — Executive Director, Utah Department of Workforce Services

Jennifer Smith — Executive Vice President, Zions Bancorporation

Thomas Wright — President, Summit Sotheby’s International Realty

During the sessions, the Utah cohort did not just absorb information and instruction—though both were incredible—we also took the opportunity to do some real work. Taking advantage of the expertise and resources of those present, our team committed to linking 5,000 highly-impacted youth onto career paths and employment using the utahfutures.org website, the Latinos in Action infrastructure, and connections to real employers looking for talented youngsters. We will keep you updated on this work as we progress!


smith-jenniferJennifer Smith
Executive Vice President, Zions Bancorporation

Prior to beginning our Young American Leaders boot-camp, we were immersed in pre-reading on the state of the U.S. economy. Admittedly, I was depressed! Although, the US GDP is recovering well, many other economic indicators point to lagging global US competitiveness. Income inequality is increasing, our educational outcomes are declining relative to the rest of the world, high wage job growth is stagnating, entitlement spending is squeezing out investments in shared economic infrastructure, and federal political paralysis increasing. Harvard Business School professors successfully rang the alarm bell and had our attention. Thankfully, as the program continued, we found hope.

At United Way, we know that the solution to complex problems resides in the community.  The hope for the future is us – local leaders who will engage in cross sector, multi-stakeholder collaboration. We studied case after case of success, and failures, at the local level. We left YALP with an appreciation for the work ahead of us to restore US Competitiveness and the role we each have in making an impact. More importantly, we developed stronger connections with one another to foster our communities growth for decades to come.

“I’m a Hero in our Community Because…”

Tim Harrisonby Tim Harrison
Senior Community Investment Advisor

“I give what has been given to me.”

Really, it can be as simple as that. Savage Services just wrapped up its annual giving campaign, and employed an amazing superhero theme. For one activity, employees wrote down how they are “heroes” in our community, and this reason really struck a chord with me because of its simplicity.

Savage LIVE UNITED Volunteers

SavageAnd heroes they are. Due to the generosity of Savage employees and the company 2:1 match, they raised well over $30,000 more than they did last year. That increase is truly remarkable.

Thank you, Savage employees! You inspire me.

Whatever your reason for supporting our work, we thank you, too.

Photo Jun 15, 12 17 18 PM

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What Kind of Impact Can You Make as a Volunteer? Find out!

stephanie-rokichby Stephanie Rokich
Community Volunteer Engagement Coordinator

This is the third post in the Community Volunteer Engagement Blog Series.

In this series, we’ve talked about why people choose to volunteer and how to begin volunteering. Now, here’s a story from one volunteer at Guadalupe School, about the impact she is able to have through her volunteer work.

Janet Felker GroupDid you know that Guadalupe School offers an Adult English as a Second Language program? The program has existed since 1966 and supports 300 adult students per year. Once these students graduate from the program, they are better prepared to find good jobs, support their children, and manage day-to-day life. It wouldn’t be possible, however, without the support of 160 volunteer teachers to run small groups and support students. Janet Felker is one of Guadalupe’s super-star volunteers.

“I tutor at Guadalupe because I really enjoy the students and staff. The students are my biggest motivation. Most of them work all day, have homes and families to care for, and still manage to get themselves to class two nights a week. If they can do it, certainly I can! I get energized by the students’ interest and eagerness to learn. We also have a lot of fun, laughing at pronunciation and my inability to explain crazy aspects of the English language.”

Janet knows that the time she spends tutoring students makes a big impact in these adults’ lives. By spending just twice a week with students, she is able to help them learn English, navigate the system, and be more successful in their lives as access better jobs and support their families.

If you’ve thought of volunteering as a tutor, Janet also has these tips for you:

  1. Come early to review the lesson plan and read the exercises. That way, you will be able to greet the students as they come in rather than being preoccupied with preparing. Knowing ahead what the lesson is about helps me think about how to introduce new concepts.
  2. Spend time at the beginning or during break getting to know your students. I often go around the table and ask students to tell me something about their family, country or interests. Or I get the group to ask questions of each other about their day or week.
  3. Check for understanding frequently. If a reading passage has a picture, I ask students to describe the picture before reading. I ask questions after every paragraph of a reading rather than wait until the end. This way, they are better prepared to respond to the written questions in the handouts.
  4. Establish traditions or regular habits. We often have visitors or new students join our group. I require each of my students to ask the visitor or new student two questions about themselves. This helps with conversation skills.

For more information about Guadalupe’s Adult Education Program, visit the program’s website. Sign-up to volunteer by contacting Kate at kate@guadalupeschoolslc.org or 801.531.6100.

Stay tuned for next month’s Community Volunteer Engagement post on when to call it quits!

Guadalupe School’s 6th Graders Leave the Nest!

by Danielle Lankford
Communications Specialist, Guadalupe School

June 11 was a day of many firsts for Guadalupe School. Our first ever 6th grade class participated in their first commencement, prompting Mayor Ralph Becker’s first visit to the new campus! Mayor Becker then declared June 11, 2015 the first ever “Vicki Mori” day in honor of our Executive Director’s long-time service to Salt Lake City! It was a big day!

As we end this school year in our new campus, we reflect on the many accomplishments the past year has held for Guadalupe School. But when we return to the Janet Q. Lawson campus in the fall, our graduating sixth grade class will be adventuring out to have many new experiences of their own.

Guadalupe SchoolEight of our twenty-seven graduates participated in our In-Home program as infants. Being part of the In-Home program allowed our parent educators to visit student’s homes and give their parents skills and guidance needed to encourage cognitive development. When these babies became toddlers, they joined our Toddler Beginnings early enrichment daycare program, where many of our staff members met them for the first time. A few years later, nine more of our graduates joined us in the first stages of their formal education at 4 and 5 years old, in our preschool and charter school programs.

For more than half of our first graduating class, Guadalupe School has been more than a place for learning. It has been their second home, where our staff has watched them grow from infants and toddlers learning how to walk and talk, to seeing them through pre-teen years on their way to middle school. Now, for the first time, they will leave our campus to pursue their education elsewhere.

Guadalupe 6th GradeIt will no doubt be a life-changing transition for them, and the choices they make these next few years will determine much of the rest of their lives. It may be as scary for us as it is for them – it feels a bit like a parent watching their child go off to college, only we have 27 of them headed to middle school. But like a parent sending their child to college, we know that through our education programs, we have provided these children with the resources and guidance necessary to make well-informed choices and succeed in this next phase of life!

Their teacher calls this group “hardworking, compassionate, and genuine” — mature words for such a young cohort. With these characteristics, and the knowledge they’ve acquired at Guadalupe School, we can’t wait to see how far they’ll go.

Guadalupe School 6th Grade