James E. Moss Elementary- The Final Puzzle Piece to the South Salt Lake Pipeline

BC65AA41-88D3-4DFA-8B80-C523CD92C75BCB268922-BCAB-40E6-98C1-4358E8D8B56Dby Sophie Siebach Glover
James E. Moss Elementary Community School Director 

In May of this year, James E. Moss Elementary School became a United Way Community School. With the addition of Moss Elementary, the South Salt Lake pipeline is complete. This means that a child in South Salt Lake will attend a Community School through elementary, junior high, and high school. Being able to access the support services that Community Schools provide, as well as having teachers and staff dedicated to their success throughout their educational career, will be hugely beneficial to changing the odds. Moss Elementary serves approximately 600 students and is a Title I school. Ninety-four percent of students qualify for free or reduced price lunch. Moss Elementary has a diverse population comprised of many immigrant and refugee families. Over 35 languages and 51 countries are represented in the school.

Moss Elementary

Since May, Moss Elementary has been able to build on partnerships with the help of United Way of Salt Lake. For example at Back to School night, Community Nursing Services (a partner with United Way) provided immunizations for free or low cost to those children who were not up to date on their shots. Similarly, this past week at Parent Teacher Conferences, Community Nursing Services provided flu shots for free or lost cost. Over 100 children were able to benefit from those flu shots alone! This will help students stay healthy and ready to learn. Additionally, Moss Elementary is partnering with Americorps to provide a mentoring program for students who were identified as being chronically absent. This has been a great benefit to the students because it allows for a dedicated staff member to mentor children, communicate with teachers and other partners regarding the children, and provide additional support.

Moss Elementary, in close partnership with United Way of Salt Lake, is excited to work together to break down barriers that prevent children from coming to school ready to learn. United Way is committed and excited to support the hard work that Moss Elementary staff has already been committed to, and looks forward to building the partnership.


The Promise of Collective Impact — Harvard Report!

Billby Bill Crim
President and CEO

This week, Harvard Business School released a new report, Business Aligning for Students: The Promise of Collective Impact. Over a year in the making, the report makes a powerful case for why U.S. businesses should direct their time, talent, and financial resources toward Collective Impact partnerships, and it highlights in detail one example of Collective Impact in action: the partnership that is supported – or “backboned” – by UWSL. The report describes how in Salt Lake – and other communities around the country – Collective Impact partnerships are changing outcomes for entire communities by championing shared goals, aligning resources around them, and measuring success in the same way.

Harvard ReportRead the complete Harvard Business School report.

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 10.49.19 AMBusiness Leaders Needed!

Learn how you can get more involved in our Collective Impact partnerships! Skills used in the workplace are in high demand within Collective Impact initiatives, and they welcome business’ help. Businesses can help to guide strategy, build support in the community, and support data gathering and analysis. Join the Collective Impact effort today!

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Read Recent News Stories

Harvard report: SLC becoming ‘poster child’ for collaborative student support – Deseret News
Harvard study highlights business, education “game changer” – Forbes
Business Leaders Needed – United Way Worldwide

Cirris Systems – a Small Company Filled with Big Hearts

Mike Wattsby Mike Watts
Community Investment Advisor

Cirris Systems – a small company filled with big hearts, cables, wires, and toast.

Unless you are a cable testing enthusiast, you may not have heard of Cirris Systems. For over 30 years, Cirris Systems has been a world leader in manufacturing cable testers. For almost as long, Cirris Systems employees have been giving to United Way of Salt Lake. In fact, 12 out of the 50 employees at Cirris Systems are members of the Diamond Donor network. These are donors that have contributed to United Way for 20 years or more!!
So, why are Cirris System employees so dedicated to making a difference in our community? This is how they answer that question in their own words:

“I feel blessed with the job I have and the friends I work and associate with. I have been fortunate enough to meet my needs and fulfill many of my wants. There are people in our community that are not as fortunate and sometimes need a helping hand.  There are many worthwhile organizations that have been established to help those who may be in need of assistance, and as much as one would like to, it is impossible to give to all of them.  I like that United Way works with many different organizations to help individuals and families within a community become stronger and more self sufficient, rather than just apply a “band-aid” to temporarily fix a problem. I do not have the knowledge to do this, and the fact that 100 percent of my donation goes to meet community needs is a plus when choosing which organization to contribute to. Also the payroll deduction option makes donating easy and hassle free.” –Anonymous

“United Way of Salt Lake has always shown they do what they claim they do.”  –Tony

“I often see people in the community that need help. I feel that by giving through United Way of Salt Lake, my giving can be the most effective.”  –Kevin

“I want to help in the community but don’t know where the needs are. This is a perfect way to contribute to the community and know that my money is being used in the best possible way.”  –Annette

“Being able to see what United Way of Salt Lake has done for communities in need has been a major driving factor in my contributing. It is amazing to think that children and families are able to receive healthcare and get the education they deserve because of contributions to United Way!”  –Sheena

Thank you, Cirris Systems, for LIVING UNITED!!!

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Day of Caring 2015: Granger Elm. Cougars Thank Regence, Wells Fargo, and Robert W. Baird!

Headshot 1by Maribel Rodriguez
Granger Elementary Community School Director

On this year’s Day of Caring , over 100 volunteers from three different companies including Robert W. Baird, Regence BlueCross BlueShield, and Wells Fargo gathered at Granger Elementary School. Volunteers came ready to tackle meaningful and sustainable projects for the student body, teachers, and families of Granger.

Picture 1 tooAs a community school, Granger Elementary takes pride in the strong partnerships with the Promise Partners to provide comprehensive services for families that are central to the school and its community. United Way of Salt Lake and our great company volunteers completed three major projects including; book leveling for teachers’ libraries, beautification and repainting of the US map on our blacktop outside, and vision screenings for our K, 1st, 3rd, and 5th grade students.

Picture 5Book leveling is essential to our students’ success in achieving increased reading levels, and this is one Granger Elementary most important goals. Book leveling allows our students to select books that are tailored to their current reading levels, and motivates students to reach increased levels of reading. Our friends at Wells Fargo completed a phenomenal feat and leveled over 1,700 books from teachers’ library collections. This sustainable project will further impact students year after year, starting with the current 950 students at Granger.

Picture 2Our students receive amazing resources thanks to our partners, and this includes the critical vision screenings that take place every school year. What took five months to complete during the 2014-2015 school year, took one day on Day of Caring, in big thanks to Rich Dees, our District Nurse and our friends at Regence BlueCross BlueShield! Our Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, and 5th grade classes, with over 650 students, all went through and completed vision screenings thanks the amazing volunteer’s diligence and dedication.

Vision screenings 2Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 9.11.20 AM“Our Map looks so colorful now!”, “Wow, those colors are nice”, “I can’t wait to play on it again”, “Thank You”…and lots more wonderful phrases were shouted out from our student body as they looked at our friends from Robert W. Baird repainting the once weathered U.S. Map on the playground. Repainting the 29’X20’ U.S. Map was nicely tackled by the eight greatly prepared volunteers in 93 degree weather. Our students cannot get enough of their beautifully painted U.S. Map, thanks to our volunteers’ relentless work.

Picture 4Three major sustainable and life changing projects came together because of the contribution of our volunteers, school staff, and United Way staff. We’d like to thank each and every one of you, from each and every one of our students at Granger, for your investment in accomplishing these projects on Day of Caring. We couldn’t have done it without you!

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How Do You #CelebrateNVRD?

Emilia ComaiBy Emilia Comai
Community and Advocacy Engagement Coordinator

Today, you might see #CelebrateNVRD all over Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. That’s because September 22 is National Voter Registration Day, and people  are celebrating nationwide by sharing why it is important to be registered to vote!

Are you registered? Are you a seasoned voter? No matter what your voter status, today is the perfect day to get registered, and get all of your voting questions answered!

There is no need to go to your County Clerk’s office, because Utah makes it really easy to register to vote ONLINE! When you go to vote.utah.gov, you can also check voting dates and deadlines, where your polling place is, update your address, and view a sample ballot so that you are prepared. This year, many counties across our state started Vote by Mail campaigns. Find out today of you live in a Vote by Mail county and make sure your ballot will show up at your house in October.

Once you’ve registered to vote or checked on your voter status, be sure to share, or change your profile picture to the image below to show your networks you are registered and ready to go for Election Day in November!

I Registered-graphic-VF_nobkgdStay up to date with Voting and Elections in Utah by following Vote Utah on Twitter! @ElectionsUtah


Register to Vote: https://secure.utah.gov/voterreg/index.html

Unsure about your status? http://vote.utah.gov/vote/menu/index

Rocky Mountain Power Executives in Scuba Gear? Find Out Why!

allison-tby Allison Temnick
Community Investment Advisor

One of the biggest corporate benefits of a United Way campaign is the way it can boost the morale of employees. Rocky Mountain Power took it up a notch this year by hosting an online auction, a golf tournament, and a community giving festival!

This year’s online auction was a huge success, raising over $35,000 in just three days. Rocky Mountain Power had incredible items like hotel packages, tickets to sporting events, televisions, and even a guitar autographed by the Rolling Stones. Rocky Mountain Power also hosted its annual golf tournament recently, which was bigger than ever! More than 170 golfers showed up bright and early for a day of fun to raise additional donations for United Way of Salt Lake.

The highlight of all of these campaign activities was just a few weeks ago, when Rocky Mountain Power employees were invited to take some time out of their jobs to attend a Community Giving Festival. The event included a barbecue, DJ, and everyone’s favorite event – a dunk tank for executives from the company!

DSC_0458As you can imagine, the dunk tank was the highlight of the afternoon – one Rocky Mountain Power executive received 600 votes for the dunk tank before the festival even got started! To add to the fun, many executives dressed up in costumes and taunted employees who were trying to dunk them. Rocky Mountain Power’s CEO Cindy Crane took it to the next level by dressing up in a full scuba suit for the event!

DSC_0469Thank you, Rocky Mountain Power, for being a great example of corporate social responsibility and for putting the “fun” in fundraising!

You all know what it means to LIVE UNITED! 

DSC_0470Rocky Mountain Power

Day of Caring at Cottonwood High School—A New and Improved Home for the Arts, Thanks to Williams Company!

megan-oby Megan Olsen
Cottonwood High Community School Director

The Cottonwood High School auditorium and stage are one of the most frequently used school spaces for events in the community. Because, as we like to say here at Cottonwood, the auditorium is “the largest school auditorium West of the Mississippi.” In addition, it is the home of one of the best theater programs in the state, which produces two more shows per year that most high schools.

Cottonwood’s theater, speech and debate, orchestra, dance, and choir courses are popular, and about 30 percent of the school population of 1300 is involved in them. All of these programs use the stage space for performances, and these facilities regularly serve more than 400 students enrolled in arts programs!

_MG_6781As a facility that means so much to the school and the larger community, the Cottonwood stage was a natural choice for the school’s 2015 United Way Day of Caring project. Due to decades of school and community productions, old sets and building materials had accumulated in the large storage area beneath the stage. There were so many things to be moved, sorted, and disposed of that the only way to tackle the project was with a large number of helping hands all at one time.

_MG_6775Other areas were also in need of some updating and care: the makeshift costume closet was half the size of the costume collection and needed expansion and a sturdier rack system; the workshop for building sets had accumulated years of student graffiti and needed new paint and shelving; the classroom serving as a storage space for small props needed to be emptied and its contents moved under the stage in preparation for the school’s growth in population that will come when 9th graders move to the high school in 2016-2017; and the theater classroom, which doubles as a small theater, needed some black paint so it could become a true “black box theater.”

Alone, each of these projects was big. Combined, they were a massive undertaking and required volunteers with a special set of skills.

Enter Williams company.

_MG_6765In addition to bringing volunteers to give of their time at the Day of Caring event, representatives from Williams attended several site visits with school and United Way staff in advance to assess the project and plan project teams, supplies, and logistics. They also partnered with the school in designing a costume closet that provided double the space and a sturdy set of costume racks, which were constructed using plumping pipes.

On Day of Caring, more than 50 volunteers from Williams divided and conquered these projects in one day’s time, with the help of the performing arts teachers and student volunteers from the theater, choir, and orchestra leadership councils. In addition, we couldn’t have completed these projects without the pick-up crew from the Granite District Surplus Department.

While the project was slated to end at 3:30, many Williams volunteers stayed well past the end time to finish the job. The Williams costume closet crew, which had built a new costume closet wall in addition to new costume racks, stayed until 6:30 that night to complete the new costume rack system. The group applauded when the end of the last concrete anchor hit the ground after being sawed off by one of their team members.

_MG_6760After the area under the stage was cleared out and filled with the theater program’s prop collection, one senior theater student proudly said to the theater teacher, “this will be our legacy.” As a legacy of Day of Caring 2015, the work that Williams did with school and district partners has created the space for excellent school and community productions for years to come.