KeyBank Closes Its Doors for a Big Day of Volunteering!

allison-tby Allison Temnick
Community Investment Advisor

Many people do not know that KeyBank has a wonderful annual tradition here in Salt Lake called Our Neighbors Make the Difference Day. Each year, it chooses one day to close down all of its branches and send employees out to serve the community. This year, KeyBank decided to make it even bigger than ever with help from United Way of Salt Lake.

Key BankOn Wednesday, May 13, KeyBank branches across Utah closed and the employees participated in a variety of volunteer projects. One of the main projects was at Kearns Junior High, a United Way of Salt Lake Community School. 63 percent of students in Kearns receive free or reduced-price lunch (an indicator of poverty) and the graduation rate in this area is a mere 66 percent. Because Kearns Junior High is a community school, it is now a place where children and their families can receive basic services so that they can succeed in school. Kandace Barber, the principal of Kearns Junior High, says it best: “Kearns Junior High has become a hub of activity for the larger community. People are receiving services and people’s basic needs are being met at the school. None of it would be possible without our partnership with the United Way of Salt Lake. It has made all the difference.”

Key BankKeyBank’s team of volunteers played a role in this process by reading with students and helping them with their homework. KeyBank volunteers also assisted other organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, National Ability Center, Bountiful Community Food Pantry, Utah Food Bank, Camp Kostopulos, Catholic Community Services Food Pantry, the Boys and Girls Club and The Road Home.

Key BankAll in all, 130 KeyBank volunteers participated in ten volunteer projects across six counties. Thank you, KeyBank, for continuing your Neighbors Make A Difference Day tradition with the help of United Way of Salt Lake!

Key Bank

Celebration of Service Honoree, Corporate Partner of the Year: Orbital ATK

Chelsea Nelsonby Chelsea Nelson
Digital Marketing Director

We are excited to do a weekly feature on the honorees for the upcoming Celebration of Service Event, coming up on May 27! At this annual event, United Way of Salt Lake has the great privilege to honor outstanding individuals and organizations in our neighborhoods and communities. These people and organizations are truly making a difference, proving every day what it means to LIVE UNITED. The honorees of the 2015 Celebration of Service awards are committed to working with United Way of Salt Lake to solve our communities’ toughest challenges. They engage their will, passion, expertise, and resources to improve lives and build a stronger community for us all.

We hope you will join us in celebration of their
contributions at this fun and inspiring event!

This week, we are thrilled to announce Corporate Partner of the Year: Orbital ATK

Some organizations seem to stand out in the community. Not only do they provide great products or services, but they are also actively involved in making Utah a better place to live. This award is United Way of Salt Lake’s highest tribute to a corporation that demonstrates community involvement through its support of United Way of Salt Lake.

Orbital ATKAt Orbital ATK, philanthropy, giving, and volunteering are solidly built into the corporate culture. Since 1986, this strategic partner has contributed significantly to United Way of Salt Lake through employee fundraising campaigns, event sponsorships, and volunteer hours. Orbital ATK’s leadership has made it a priority to educate employees about the importance of its partnership with United Way of Salt Lake and to help build better communities for people to live and work. To ensure this message resonates throughout the company, presentations and targeted communications reach all employees. Providing employees with opportunities to give and get involved are just two of the many ways Orbital ATK demonstrates its commitment. Through its annual United Way employee campaign, Orbital ATK has raised more than $150,000 each year, and last year they raised more than $175,000.

ATK For these contributions and many others, United Way of Salt Lake is proud to honor Orbital ATK with its Corporate Partner of the Year award!



WLC’s “Financial Literacy” Workshop Impacts Girls at Granite Park Jr. High

zenia-frendtby Zenia Frendt
Leadership Giving Director

“Now I see how important it is to save money. The most important thing is that I’m opening a savings account to start saving money for college.” GPJH Student

Volunteers from UWSL’s Women’s Leadership Council took time out of their busy schedules to come out and talk frankly about money to the girls at Granite Park Jr. High last week.

WLC Financial LIteracy Granite ParkUsing It’s a Money Thing: A Girl’s Guide to Managing Money as a text book, and a PowerPoint that WLC volunteers themselves put together, the workshop explored everything from the correlation between education and income, to the importance of budgeting and saving, to the perils of credit.

Women of the WLC focus their donations and their time towards educational achievement. The work they do is directly impacting young girls and teens in our communities. Presenting this important material in such a fun way clearly spoke to the girls. Here are a few more quotes from those who were part of the workshop.

WLC Granite Park Jr“My favorite part of the presentation was when we were asked what we want to be. It was my favorite because after we gave our answers, we were told the salary and how much schooling it’ll take. The information was really helpful, thank you!” GPJH Student

“My favorite part of the presentation was the ‘expense pizza’ activity because we got to see how a gross annual income works. I learned how to make a budget, it will help me to not spend more than I have.” GPJH Student

Thank you to the amazing volunteers in the Women’s Leadership Council, for changing the odds for girls and young women in the Salt Lake area!

WLC Granite Park

United Way of Salt Lake Names Bill Crim as its New Chief Executive Officer

After an extensive and thorough national search, United Way of Salt Lake (UWSL) has named Bill Crim as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Crim, who has been in executive positions with UWSL since 2004, was the unanimous choice of a CEO Search Committee that had been vetting candidates during a nine-month process. Most recently UWSL’s Senior Vice President, Collective Impact and Public Policy, Crim’s selection was ratified by United Way of Salt Lake’s Board of Directors by unanimous vote at its monthly meeting on Thursday morning.

Crim will succeed Deborah Bayle, the 16-year-head of the United Way of Salt Lake organization who announced her retirement earlier this year. Crim will officially begin in his new role as CEO on July 1, while Bayle continues as the organization’s President to ensure a seamless transition. Crim will become President & CEO on Aug. 21.

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 12.01.41 PMUWSL engaged Chicago-based DHR International, a nationally recognized search firm with vast experience in nonprofit CEO searches, to conduct its nationwide search. The approximately 300 candidates who emerged were some of the best talent available in the nation, including 110 people from local United Ways across the country and 48 leaders from Utah.

Crim graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Utah with a degree in Political Science. He began his career with the Utah Issues Center for Poverty Research and Action, where he served as Executive Director. He joined UWSL in 2004 to help in its successful transformation to the Collective Impact business model.  He led a team that created and implemented UWSL’s public policy strategy, establishing the organization as an influential leader within Utah’s local and state policy environment.

bill-docWe invite you to read the news release in its entirety by clicking below!

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Want to Volunteer? Make Sure to Ask Yourself these 6 Questions!

stephanie-rokichby Stephanie Rokich
Community Volunteer Engagement Coordinator

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

By this time, you’ve hopefully read the first post in this series on why people choose to volunteer and narrowed the list of causes you care about down to one or two. Now you want to start volunteering. What’s next?

VolunteerBefore signing up for a volunteer position, ask yourself the following:

  1. What is my main motivation for volunteering? Am I looking for a way to work on a cause I care about? Am I hoping to network with people with similar values and form new relationships? Do I want to get involved in a fun opportunity, regardless of the cause? Do I want to share a special skill of mine? Understanding your main motivation for wanting to volunteer will help you determine if a volunteer opportunity fits your desires.
  2. What kinds of activities do I want to do? Do I want to work directly with clients? Do I want to do administrative work such as mailings and phone calls? Do I want to help with special events such as planning logistics or soliciting sponsors? Do I want to lead a committee or group?
  3. How much time can I realistically commit to volunteering? Knowing that ongoing volunteering is the most impactful, how much time can I commit to volunteering on a monthly or weekly basis?
  4. How long do I plan to volunteer? Can I commit to six month or a year?
  5. How much autonomy do I want? Am I looking for an opportunity that is structured or one with more flexibility for me to be creative?
  6. Are there barriers that would prevent me from volunteering? Consider transportation barriers or an organization’s operating hours.

With your answers to these questions in mind, you can take a few simple steps to begin your volunteering journey:

  1. Go online to the United Way 2-1-1 Volunteer Center at to search our online database of over 300 volunteer opportunities or dial 2-1-1 to speak to a trained information specialist that can help you connect to a volunteer opportunity.
  2. Contact the agency you want to volunteer with and let them know what you had in mind. The more specific you can be using the answers to the questions the better the agency can match you with the right opportunity.
  3. Don’t give up! If you’re new to volunteering you might not realize that at some agencies the volunteer coordinator is also the program coordinator and receptionist. Sometimes it may take multiple calls or emails to reach someone. It’s not that they don’t need your help; they may just be juggling multiple responsibilities.

If an agency isn’t responding to you, contact Stephanie at UWSL with the name of the agency, the contact information you’ve been using, and your contact information and we’ll reach out to determine if they still need volunteers or if their point of contact has changed. If you have other questions or would like to discuss a group or Eagle Scout project, contact Stephanie at or 801.746.2566.


Stay tuned for next month’s Community Volunteer Engagement post on the impact you have as a volunteer!


The Magic of Literacy Month at Oquirrh Hills Elementary

Stephanie Lintonby Stephanie Linton
Oquirrh Hills Elementary Community School Director

Never underestimate the magic of a good book!

At Oquirrh Hills Elementary, March was literacy month. In order to encourage kids to grab a book and read, teachers, staff, students and volunteers literally made their favorite books come to life! To kick off a great month, JC Penney volunteers made special guest appearances possible: The Grinch, Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two, Sam-I-Am, The Lorax, and other beloved Dr. Seuss characters flooded the halls in order to read to each classroom. Student’s also participated in a kick-off assembly that included a character fashion show. Each classroom chose its favorite book, dressed up as characters from that book, and presented their favorite part while walking down the runway to show off their fashions. Some favorite fashions included students in gray shirts and sweatpants to represent the book Divergent, Calvin and Hobbs, and the colorful princess gowns representing Fancy Nancy and her sister. Even the magic school bus and Ms. Frizzle made an appearance on the runway. To end the day, every classroom was given one hour to create the most creative door, depicting their favorite Dr. Seuss book.

Oquirrh HillsOquirrh HillsTo keep up the spirit of reading throughout the month, classrooms participated in book reading contests. Every time the class read a book together, they were able to put another stripe on the hat of their classroom Cat in the Hat and compete for their very own classroom copy of “The Lorax.” Students were also given incentives to read and create book board displays for our end of the month celebration.

Oquirrh Hills
At the end March, we hosted our “Magic of Literacy” family night which included a magician from the KSL Road to Success program and local Rocky Mountain Muggle club representatives from the Kearns Public Library, which were dressed in their favorite Harry Potter robes. We were excited to see so many wonderful book board displays, and even a classroom of displays done on Chrome books! Students and families were able to vote for their favorite displays and winners received brand new books and matching character stuffed animals.

DSC_0327Thank you to everyone for participating in our Literacy Month and for LIVING UNITED!

Oquirrh Hills

Oquirrh Hills Elementary is a United Way of Salt Lake Community School.

Vicki Mori – A Lifetime of Service in Salt Lake City and Guadalupe School

by Danielle Lankford
Guadalupe School Development Assistant

I began working for Guadalupe School just about three months ago, and I must admit – although it is my dream job, I was nervous about jumping into the world of nonprofit work in a new city, as a recent college graduate. In my first few days, however, I got to know the knowledgeable, influential, and kind Director that my colleagues clearly loved and respected. She made me feel welcome, not only at Guadalupe, but in Salt Lake City. The more time I spend at Guadalupe School, the more I see Vicki walking the halls with staff, parents, and donors, speaking passionately about the work we do here. And, I’m almost certain they feel the same way I do: they are part of the team and we are all in this together, each with our own responsibility to help fight the cycle of poverty.

DSC_0304 As Vicki prepares for her retirement, we realize that Guadalupe School will not be the same without her, but it also won’t be the same because of her.

Many of us here at Guadalupe could tell stories about how Vicki has inspired us and how she has made the organization what it is today, but after sitting down and speaking with her, I thought I would simply let her tell you in her own words, and I think you will understand why it is a privilege to work with her.

  1. How did you get into nonprofit work?

I got into nonprofit work by working in a rest home. I was a recreational therapist and very passionate at the time about the treatment of older people and wanted to make sure I could share the exciting things. In other words, aging didn’t necessarily have to look gloomy. It could be fun, and it was. We had a great time with our seniors. I really did enjoy it and I think the other thing was that families enjoyed it. They wanted people to know that their parents were really something to them.

  1. What have you enjoyed most about working at Guadalupe School?

I would have to say the staff. I think we have a remarkable staff. It’s not easy running a school or having to work all the different areas that a school has, and there’s a lot of stuff that you have to be aware of. And I look at the staff and they come every day and most of them are smiling. You know, some of them maybe they’re not feeling well, but I think on the whole they’re very committed. And, they’re very committed to making sure that the children know the information that they need to know and that means a great deal to them. I just think that they’ve been terrific and I’ve really learned a lot. I wish them well, each and every one of them.

  1. How has Guadalupe changed since 2005?

Well, more staff. More kids. When I came on we might have had 20 or 30 staff members. Kids, we had 89. I’ll never forget that number, because I didn’t understand why we only had 89 children and then I realized that was based on a contract with the Salt Lake school district. I used to think, “Well I wonder if it will ever grow?” But wow, we did!

  1. What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment?

I think it would have to be the building of the school. When you come from how far back we’ve come, at the start of the school, in 1970, we never really had a school that was big enough to meet all of our dreams and our expectations. So, to be able to build this new building and use it the way that it needs to be used and be able to have all of the blackboards that you need, the smartboards that you need, having enough desks and trying to imagine what it would look like. We went from 13,000 sq. ft. to 50,000 sq. ft. which is pretty incredible. Regardless of whether that was me, or somebody else who did that, it’s just the fact that we had such a small little unit to go off of, and then all of a sudden it went up to 50,000 sq. ft. So, I think it was really fun to watch it grow.

  1. What are you most looking forward to about retiring?

Retirement has such an enigma attached to it, and there’s so much more when you look at people who are retired. I look at people who walk through our doors every day to try to help kids learn how to read. Where would we be without those people? So, I think it’s a great opportunity. Am I nervous? Yes. But, how do I get involved? Maybe as a kid, I wasn’t a good reader, so I could read to kids. Maybe that wasn’t a big thing in my life, but I believe when people come together and want to do something, it will happen.

  1. What would you say to young people who are interested in nonprofit careers?

The nonprofit arena is wonderful. For me, it opened up so many doors. I got a chance to meet so many wonderful people and it was fun. I had a lot to share, but I had a lot coming back to me.

Vicki Guadalupe School

Guadalupe School is a United Way of Salt Lake Community School.