A Thank You!

By Bob Dunn

Executive Director

Boys & Girls Clubs of South Valley


Dear Friends at United Way of Salt Lake:

I just want to take a minute to thank you for all you do for our community and for the youth at our Clubs in particular.  Whenever we have a question, even if it is not your department, you go out of your way to assist us and I really appreciate that you treat everyone as though they are important and deserve your attention.

I can’t describe what a difference our partnership with United Way of Salt Lake has done for our Clubs.  Our collaboration is definitely making a difference in kids lives in numerous ways including allowing us to offer free Flu Shots, Home Safety Kits, and helping us with mentors for our tutoring program.  Every dollar goes so much further because of this relationship.

I don’t know if you are aware but we recently accomplished a milestone and celebrated our youth reading over 22,000 minutes during the summer, keeping them prepared for school.  KSL came to our Club and did a story on this accomplishment and I just wanted to send you the Link.

In addition to this our kids completed a number of service projects giving back to our community.  Our Club Members are provided with healthy, free meals as well as learning about nutrition and the value of exercise.  They were also engaged in a number of educational programs stressing the importance of graduation–plus they are having a lot of fun.  Thank you for your support and making these opportunities possible for our kids.

Thanks again for all you have done for our youth and our community,


Photo Courtesy of KSL.COM

‘Stuff the Bus’–Great Volunteer Work in Action!

by Ashley Hillman
Community Collaborations Director

On UWSL’s annual Day of Caring on September 8, over 5,000 backpacks were stuffed with school supplies and delivered to elementary and junior high schools in Granite, Park City, and Salt Lake City School Districts. Volunteers created assembly lines and with amazing efficiency, stuffed backpacks with everything from pencils and markers to notebooks and binders. Backpacks were bundled in groups of 50 and “stuffed” into school buses where they began their journey to children all over the city.

Victoria Palauni, who works with the Salt Lake City School District, and I followed one of the large, yellow school buses first to Mountain View Elementary where children excitedly sifted through backpacks to get to the goodies inside. We then hopped over to Glendale Middle where kind-hearted students helped us load the bundles of backpacks onto carts to be taken into the school for distribution. The last stop on the list for us was Lincoln Elementary where the principal, Christine Pittam, and the Community Learning Center Coordinator, Annika Jones, pushed up their sleeves and despite skirts and high heels, helped transport nearly 400 backpacks from the bus and into the school. Mission accomplished! The buses had been stuffed and the backpacks delivered!

A week or so later, I was driving to Mountain View Elementary for a Leadership Committee Meeting, and I saw a little girl walking into her home with a Live United backpack on her back! It brought a smile to my face as I passed by and thought that hopefully these backpacks had brought some joy to the lives of kids in our community.

A couple of days later, I went to Lincoln Elementary for a Leadership Committee Meeting and was presented with an over-sized thank you card from one of the classes at the school. All of the children had signed the card, and there was a picture attached of the kids with their backpacks. The smiling faces validated that the pain in my back from lifting bundles of stuffed backpacks had been totally worth it!

Earlier this week at Rose Park Elementary (another recipient of backpacks), several kids came up to me and thanked me for giving them the backpacks. I wish I could take credit for bringing such happiness to these kids, but it’s absolutely not my credit to take. I was just the lucky one whose face they saw when I helped to deliver the backpacks!

The true credit goes to all of the individuals, school groups, companies, and organizations that made this project such a success. Without the multitudes of donations, time spent sorting through all of the donated school supplies, and volunteers to help stuff the backpacks, some of these kids wouldn’t have had the supplies to successfully complete homework or to feel confident that they were adequately equipped for school.

So THANK YOU to a community that has shown through generous acts of kindness that it cares about the children in our neighborhoods and about their success!

2011 UWSL Day of Caring–Huge Success!

2011 marked the most successful and largest Day of Caring in United Way of Salt Lake’s history.  With over 3,300 volunteers representing 105 local companies, 145 one-day service projects were completed on September 8th.  This vast labor of love totaled roughly 36,000 hours of community service.

UWSL worked with nearly 90 partners, schools, and organizations in Davis, Salt Lake, Tooele, and Summit Counties and the City of South Salt Lake alone coordinated 24 projects with over 700 volunteers.  Some of the projects included painting, landscaping, working with seniors, reading with students, and other community enhancement projects.

UWSL also hosted a public project onsite at the Gateway Mall after the kick-off breakfast and entertainment.  The Stuff the Bus project had volunteers stuffing 5,000 backpacks with school supplies for students. Stuff the Bus was a huge success with so many volunteers that the project was completed an hour before expected. Buses from Salt Lake and Granite School districts were parked outside the Gateway Mall to haul the newly stuffed backpacks to surrounding elementary schools.

Thank you to everyone who participated in making the 2011 Day of Caring such a successful day of volunteering in Utah!

If you weren’t able to participate in the Day of Caring this year, you can still contribute to our Give 5 Campaign by texting SLKIDS to 864833 and donating $5 to help Salt Lake kids!

We hope to see everyone NEXT YEAR for Day of Caring 2012!!

Stuff The Bus

This school year, many children will lack the supplies they need to enter the classroom ready to learn. Help United Way of Salt Lake Stuff the Bus with school supplies for children served through United Way of Salt Lake’s neighborhood Community Learning Centers. These Centers, located in schools and other easy to access locations, work daily with the youth of Davis, Salt Lake, and Summit counties to improve academic achievement, reading, and development. Supplies collected will be stuffed into backpacks and delivered to over 15 school locations on United Way of Salt Lake’s annual Day of Caring, September 8.

School Supply Drives: July 1- August 25

Drop-off Location: 175 S. West Temple, Suite 30

Supplies Needed:
backpacks, pencils, pens, paper, notebooks, pocket folders, 3-ring binders, markers, colored pencils, glue, scissors, highlighters, and rulers.

For more information go to uw.org


It is possible to make a significant difference in the life of a child in some very simple ways.

  • Donate a book(s) to your local elementary school
  • Volunteer with an after school reading program
  • Read to the children in your life for 10-20 minutes a day
  • Help inform parents about the importance of reading for success in later life
  • GIVE 5!

What is GIVE 5? A text campaign to provide books to children in low-income situations. Just $5 can provide one book for a child. Text SLREADs to 864833 to donate $5. To learn more go to www.uw.org/give5

($5 will be added to your mobile phone bill/deducted from your prepaid account. Message and Data Rates May Apply. Full Terms: mGive.org/T)