United Way Week at CHG Healthcare!

kpower(1)Kyle Power
CHG Healthcare
Director, Interactive Marketing

United Way Week at CHG Healthcare is always one of my favorite weeks of the year at the office. I remember my first United Way Week at CHG, three years ago, and being surprised by how involved employees were and how fun the events were, but also how much I realized I could help the community in which I live and work. So, it didn’t take long to decide that I should be an active participant in the activities during the week, but also to GIVE, ADVOCATE, and VOLUNTEER.

This year felt like the best for me. I was able to be on the United Way Week Committee and hear about all the great activities that would be happening during the week, as well as lead a committee of my own. I helped put on a beer and food event at The Annex by Epic Brewing. It was a great event to help raise funds for the United Way. The event was a great success and I look forward to more events like that to help build awareness and raise funds for the United Way.

It was also great to see Young Leaders get involved in the pizza eating contest. I won’t name names, but my favorite (last year’s champion) lost by two seconds — after I was told it was a “no brainer” for him to win! We had great executive participation in the “Wheel of Shame” at the live auction — our CFO was covered in lipstick and makeup, and our CEO had to do a duet with another senior leader!

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One of the best things that happened during the week was that we were able to combine two components of “The Heart of CHG” as one — the Employee Network Groups donated a basket of home brew, with CHG inspired names and labels for the live auction. The donation generated over $1,000 for the United Way! Who knew a little time in the kitchen making what you love and some creative names and labels could help the community?

It truly is one of the greatest weeks at CHG and I am looking forward to United Way events through the course of the year, but I can’t wait for next year!

Our United Way campaign is a great way to help change the odds for kids and families in our neighborhoods, and at CHG, we are very proud to LIVE UNITED!

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Deborah Bayle Celebrates 15 Years at UWSL!

Deborah Bayleby Deborah S. Bayle
President and CEO

On September 1st, I celebrated 15 years as President and CEO of United Way of Salt Lake. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long until I begin looking back and reflecting on the many changes that I and the organization have been through in that time.

When I joined United Way, in September of 1999, we were primarily a fund-raising, fund distributing organization. Our principal mission was to raise money for health and human services and allocate it to other nonprofits in the community. While, for many years, that was a worthy goal, it became clear to me very quickly that United Way of Salt Lake needed to do more. We needed to shift our focus from being just a fund raiser to being a community problem solver.

But, why change? Because the old model was no longer adequate to meet the needs of today’s society. The problems in our community have grown in size and complexity. We are seeing major demographic changes, low student achievement, poor health and lack of access to health care, generational poverty and crime. Large scale social change was not possible under our old model.

In 2001, we embarked on a ten-year journey to reinvent our 100-year-old organization. At a Board of Directors Retreat in 2001, the Board voted to begin the transformation. That took a lot of vision and a lot of courage.

Over the course of the next several years, we became heavily engaged in public policy, conducted research and produced studies on community needs, financial instability, and immigrant and refugee integration. Based on the results of those studies, we began to target resources to the key issues of education, income, health and basic needs.

We convened groups of experts and community leaders to identify major service gaps in our community and developed specific initiatives to focus on them. The first was Sealants for Smiles, which focused on children’s dental disease. From there, we launched Utah Saves to address the issues around financial insecurity. Additionally, we partnered with others to start Earn It. Keep It. Save It. to expand Voluntary Income Tax Assistance and outreach for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income working families.

In 2007, we launched the Community Learning Centers initiative to develop long-term plans to address the student achievement gap. That project became the basis for the work that we do today. We started with a pilot program in four elementary schools that targeted the many social and academic barriers faced by low-income, at-risk students and their families.

Today, we are working in 19 schools, apartment complexes and community centers. Our focus is on advancing education, income and health in the neighborhoods and communities where we work, to ensure every child succeeds, every step of the way, from cradle to career. We have a long-term sustainability and growth strategy in place. We have made a promise to our community. That promise is to Change the Odds so all children and their families have the same chance to succeed in school and in life.

We have adopted Collective Impact as our business model. It is a unique approach to community problem solving. It requires that everyone works together in partnership – businesses, cities, governments, schools, churches, foundations, and nonprofit organizations, to find new and innovative ways to address challenges and develop lasting solutions. Together, we work to create a vision and set shared goals, organize and align resources and programs into strategies, measure success by sharing data and being mutually accountable and create constant communication and continuous improvement.

United Way of Salt Lake serves as the “backbone”, ensuring there is adequate organizational and staff support to assist partners and work alongside them to simplify complexities, facilitate partnerships, connect dots, develop and implement plans, and communicate the work of the partnerships.

We are working with our many partners to achieve specific objectives:

  • Children are kindergarten ready
  • Students are proficient in reading, math and science
  • Student graduate from high school ready to succeed in post-secondary education
  • Students complete post-secondary education with a degree or certificate
  • Children and families are healthy
  • Children and families are financially stable

In 2010, we acquired 2-1-1 Information and Referral. 2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember phone number for people who are in crisis to get connected to the services they need, as well as for people to find volunteer opportunities. We have worked hard over the past four years to deepen and strengthen 2-1-1’s reach throughout the state. We are in the process of receiving national accreditation, services are provided 24/7, and 2-1-1 is a solid social barometer for the state, providing data on the most critical needs of Utahns.

We have come a long way in the past few years. It is because there are people with vision, talent, and courage leading the way. Without the strength and leadership of our Board of Directors, our senior management team, our staff, our donors and our partners, none of this would have been possible.

As I think back over the past 15 years, I am in awe of all the people who I have had the privilege of working with; people who have YES in their hearts and who are willing to do whatever it takes to help kids and families succeed. All of us working together, collectively, are Changing the Odds and transforming communities for generations to come. I feel such a sense of pride and gratitude that I have had the chance to be part of this amazing journey.

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Celebrate National Voter Registration Day!

Emilia Comaiby Emilia Comai
Community and Advocacy Engagement Coordinator

September 23 (TODAY!) is National Voter Registration Day! Organizations and volunteers across the country are making phone calls, knocking on doors, and talking with their community about the importance of registering to vote.

Did you know that in Utah you must re-register to vote after you move to a different address? Did you know if you do not vote within the last two election cycles your voter registration is deemed “inactive?” Today is a perfect day to spread the word to your family and friends about registering or re-registering to vote!

REGISTER TO VOTE NOW!

Register to Vote

We know that those who vote are more likely to volunteer, stay informed about their community, and eventually become advocates for the issues they care about. Last week, during our 22nd Annual Day of Caring, volunteers grabbed canvass packets and hit the streets, registering voters and spreading awareness for United Way 2-1-1 in Kearns, a UWSL Promise Neighborhood. Canvassing is how volunteers can connect with neighbors about certain issues they care about.

“I felt grateful for the opportunity to serve and strengthen the neighborhood of Kearns in some small way.”- Virginia Lee, Advocate

United Way of Salt Lake’s Collective Impact work focuses on creating strong communities. We know that voting empowers community members to share their voice and make change where it is needed!

The registration deadline is fast approaching! Can you join us to reach out to those in your community? We will be knocking on doors Saturday, October 4, from 9:30 a.m. to Noon. There will be a BBQ lunch held after in the neighborhood. RSVP below to sign up!

RSVPLink to Utah Election Center: http://vote.utah.gov/vote/menu/index

Utah Voter Registration

8,500 Kids Recieve School Supplies — Stuff the Bus 2014!

Amy Worthingtonby Amy Worthington
Volunteer Events and Training Coordinator

Every September, I have the opportunity to witness the generosity and kindness of thousands of people in our community. As a part of Day of Caring, United Way of Salt Lake holds a public volunteer opportunity and donation drive called Stuff the Bus.

This year, we had over 65 groups in three counties hold school supply drives!  We had a variety of church, company, school, Boy Scout, and youth groups participate in collecting donations. In total, we received over 95,000 individual school supplies to help us provide backpacks and supplies to 8,500 students who attend school at over 20 Community Schools and Neighborhood Centers. These at-risk students might not otherwise have the necessary tools for a successful school year.

In the two weeks prior to the Stuff the Bus event, we had a variety of volunteer groups spend hours helping us sort, count, box up and purchase school supplies in preparation for the actual day where we would assemble the backpacks. Many people don’t realize that there are numerous hours of preparation, counting, and moving prior to the day when backpacks can be delivered.

IMG_0611On Thursday September 11, we had over 120 volunteers come to The Gateway to help us stuff 3,600 backpacks with school supplies that were then loaded up in trucks, vans, and other vehicles to make it to their final destinations. It is always such a thrill to watch everything come together. In a matter of 90 minutes thousands of backpacks are loaded, bundled, and ready for delivery!

IMG_7351Our team is so grateful for the support of all who made Stuff the Bus such a resounding success this year! With the help of thousands of people, we were able to provide school supplies to 3,500 more students than we have in the past. To everyone who collected schools supplies, helped us sort and prep school supplies, donated money for school supplies, or who came out and help us package them up — we thank you! Because of your help and support, 8,500 at-risk students in Salt Lake, Davis, and Summit counties are now better equipped to take on the new school year!

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Project Highlights – Day of Caring, 2014

heather-macdonaldby Heather MacDonald
Volunteer and Community Engagement Director

Every year on Day of Caring, I love that I have the opportunity to support an event that highlights our community’s generosity and kindness. If you haven’t had the opportunity to participate as a volunteer on Day of Caring, here is an example of just a few great projects that happened this year.

CHG volunteers spent their morning beautifying Cottonwood High School by removing large weeds from the planters at the end zones of the football stadium and spreading bark in the planters in the student parking lot. Volunteers also sanded and painted the railings of the football stadium to help prevent rust and wear.

DSC_3985DSC_3996 At South Kearns Elementary, volunteers from DMC came out and read books with students in every class at the school. The volunteers were able to donate the books they read with the students so that every child was able to take a book home to add to their personal library.

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GE Healthcare sent hundreds of volunteers to Kearns High School where they were able to completely clean and update the community garden space, build new tables in the greenhouse, and talk to students in their classrooms about college and career opportunities that are available to them. GE volunteers even provided demonstrations of an x-ray machine and another machine that allows surgeons to see inside your sinuses while performing surgery. Kearns High Community School Director sums up the day perfectly.

“I feel that I now understand the vision and have experienced what true collective impact is.  For me personally, it was beyond amazing to see what a difference can be made when you are able to bring in the generous resources, expertise and enthusiasm of a company like GE Healthcare to a school like Kearns High.”

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Thank you to American Express, ATC, CHASE, CHG Healthcare Services, The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints Foundation, KSL, GE, Hexcel Corporation, Questar, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah, and Wells Fargo for sponsoring our 22nd annual Day of Caring.

It’s not too late to turn your Day of Caring into a year of service. Visit uw.org/volunteer, or dial 2-1-1, to learn about upcoming volunteer events and how you can volunteer all year long.

Donor Networks Volunteer on Day of Caring!

United Way of Salt Lake would like to thank all the members of our dedicated Donor Networks, who spent time volunteering on Day of Caring! Leadership Circle and Young Leaders spent the day at Granger Elementary reading with and tutoring some amazing kids, while Women’s Leadership Council spent the day at Granite Park Jr. High talking about their careers and education!

Here are what a few of our members had to say about their experience on Day of Caring:

Leadership Circle

Prior to attending Day of Caring with Leadership Circle at Granger Elementary, I attended a business meeting at the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce. When I walked into the meeting, four other people were there in their LIVING UNITED t-shirts. We all talked about where we were headed after the meeting for Day of Caring. Some were painting, some were weeding, some were reading to school kids. It was great to be in a meeting with a lot of people in shirts and ties and business attire with us in our LIVE UNITED shirts. Great Stuff!David Smith, Leadership Circle Member

IMG_9755 IMG_9754Young Leaders

Young Leaders spent this year’s Day of Caring reading and doing learning activities with kids at Granger Elementary School. I had the pleasure of reading with Sebastian and Aaron. Their enthusiasm for learning was infectious and their cute smiles and laughter made my morning.

After reading, the teacher told the kids to clear off their desks and then she proceeded to squirt a small pile of shaving cream on each one of their desks. I was both shocked and amazed. Who in their right mind would give shaving cream to kindergarten kids? Don’t we normally try and keep that stuff away from them? Boy was I wrong. She then proceeded to show the kids how they could draw in the shaving cream with their fingers and make letters and shapes. The kids loved it! They showed us what letters they knew and we prompted them to make different shapes and designs. I loved how the teacher incorporated this creative idea to help the children practice the important skills they are learning everyday. It was a great morning and I wish that I could spend every morning volunteering in that classroom with those kindergarten kids.Greg Summerhays, Young Leaders Chair

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IMG_9761 Women’s Leadership Council

Never forget that it is the choices you make every day that will determine your future. Every day, you make a choice to do your homework or not to do it. Make the smart choices!” This advice from Women’s Leadership Council member Cathy Angstman was only one of several gems passed on to Granite Park Jr. High students by WLC members for Day of Caring. Members came out on Thursday to speak to the 9th grade class about their own careers and education, focused on what kids can be doing right now in order to prepare for a brighter future.

Tania Miller shared some of her own experiences in junior high, especially feelings of not belonging and feeling like she didn’t fit in. But, she said, “we cannot dwell on the negative aspects of our lives, because everyone around you is also going through something. What’s important is to not let negativity drag you down, but to channel that into something positive. Show up. Do the work. Achieve.

When the panel had finished, even the teachers came up to WLC members afterwards, saying that the advice they gave out about lessons long learned was good to hear even as an adult. WLC member, Melisse Grey, summed it up well by saying, “We had great energy at the Granite Park Jr. High panel, from both the presenters and the audience!” Thank you to all of the amazing women who came out to inspire the kids at GPJH!

WLC Panel I WLC Panel IVThank you to all of our Donor Network members for a great Day of Caring!

Thank You for The Most Successful Day of Caring Yet!

Chelsesa Nelsonby Chelsea Nelson
Digital Marketing Director

Day of Caring 2014 has come and gone, and it was by far, UWSL’s biggest and best yet! If you were one of the 5,700 volunteers that participated by reading to kids, planting flowers at a Neighborhood Centers, painting murals at Community Schools, or helping with any one of the 135 projects – WE THANK YOU! This year, over 130 companies participated with their employees, showing our community that they are committed to LIVING UNITED!

To put it into perspective, volunteer efforts accumulated over 25,000 hours and saved our community approximately $525,000 dollars! The difference that this one day of service made for kids, families, schools, and other organizations is huge – and all of our volunteers should be very proud of their efforts.

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Not only did we have volunteers making a difference all over the valley, we also had volunteers stuffing backpacks with school supplies for 8,500 kids! Stuff the Bus was incredibly successful, and now thousands of at-risk kids are able to start this school year with the tools they need to be successful. Pads of paper, pencils, and crayons may seem like simple things – but to the kids who receive the backpacks, they truly make a difference!

If you weren’t able to join us for Day of Caring or Stuff the Bus – you can still make an impact! By simply texting SLKIDS to 50555, you can easily donate $10 to help provide school supplies to at-risk kids in our community. Pick up your phone and donate today!

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And if you are anxious to get a jump start on Day of Caring 2015, we are already asking people to sign up! Visit our website and commit to joining us next year – see how inspiring it is seeing thousands of LIVE UNITED t-shirts all around the valley making a difference! Join us!

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For more photos from Day of Caring 2014, visit our Instagram and Twitter (@uwsl) or our Facebook page! Also, follow hashtag #DOC2014. More photos to come!