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WPN Holiday Social

By: April Harrison
Women’s Philanthropic Network Director

Last Thursday night members and friends of the Women’s Philanthropic Network (WPN) had a wonderful time at our Holiday Social and later depicted their experience in narrative essays online. WPN member Carol Sweet opened her home and generously sponsored this wonderful event. Thanks Carol!  Guests brought hats, gloves and coats for our Welcome Centers. You can see a slide show of the event on a blog post earlier this week (click here).

We heard from Samira who is a refugee from Iraq she came here many years ago and spoke about how she was able to break out of the spider web she felt she had come from.  Her story was touching she is now working on her own organization to help women.

I personally shared how being a part of our initiative work is so important to me. In October I took my eight year old son and his friend to the South Parc apartment complex where the Hser Ner Moo Welcome Center is located.  On our way there I explained how this is where many refugee families live.  It was a really warm October day and the sun was out, it was a week day although school was out and when we arrived the children were playing in the parking lot and waiting for the Center to open. When arriving we met another WPN member, Mary Kay Griffin who is with the CBIZ Women’s Advantage group. She had several boxes of items to give to the Welcome Center.  My son, his friend, and the refugee children who were playing in the parking lot all helped us unload the many items. The children seemed so excited to see the boxes of items they may be soon receiving that day. After we were done unloading I was busy talking with the other adults and the Welcome Center employees and as I said my goodbyes I turned around to find my son and his friend.  I found that the two of them were engaged in a game of tag with the Refugee children of South Parc. I didn’t even have to initiate any type of introduction to these children. This was a moment I was not expecting see when coming to Center that day. I was expecting to teach my son a little about what it means to give back to the Welcome Center and I think he understood why we were there. But the best part about this story is the part that I learned.  These children reminded me that it doesn’t take much to pull down barriers and integrate with one another.  I let the children play for a while longer and then on the car ride home I asked my son if he learned any of their names and he replied “mom, I don’t think they spoke English, we just played games with them.”  I laughed to myself and felt grateful for the work of the WPN and what we are doing for these families.

In addition, there was a nice touch to evening by having Zee Xiao in attendance. She is with the Global Artisans that is an organization that aids Refugees in Utah with attaining self sufficiency. This program is helping by teaching Refugees to make items and sell them. There were headbands, scarves, sweaters, bags and puppets to name a few.  I took home an adorable pin cushion that I will be gifting to my mother for her birthday!  All are hand made by refugees and the money will help them supplement their family’s income.

Thanks to all who attended this fabulous event!

Workplace Campaign- Bard Access Systems, Inc.

By: Cristi Wetterberg
Resource Development Executive

As a part of my job, as a Resource Development Executive, I recently had the opportunity to be a part of a fun and successful workplace giving campaign.  Bard Access Systems, Inc. is an innovator and market leader in vascular access devices. Bard creates products that have a positive impact on people’s lives. During the week of Halloween, Bard employees had the opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives in a different way.  The week started with a pancake breakfast and ended with a chili cook-off and Halloween costume and pumpkin carving contest.  Employees were able to bring in their chili and everyone had the opportunity to judge which chili was the best.  Curtis Cronkite won, his second year in a row!  The atmosphere that day was definitely one of support for our community and overall fun for the entire Bard family!  Through the hard work and support of Kate Van Rij, Human Resources Representative and all of Bard’s employees, Bard’s workplace giving campaign raised over $20,000, which included a company match, a 300% increase from last year’s campaign results!!  Even though I am fortunate to see success, like this, throughout the year, I have to say being a part of this campaign was a lot of fun and I truly got to see what it means to LIVE UNITED!  Thank you to everyone who works at Bard for their continued support to make our community a better place for us all.

Costume Contest Winners:

1st Place: “Old Lady” Elizabeth Richardson

2nd Place: “The Devil’s Handstand” Danny Blanchard

3rd Place: “Big Pimpin” John Haymore






Chili Contest Winners:
1st Place: Curtis Cronkite
2nd Place: Mellisa Mollner
3rd Place: Bridget Valle-Torres

2010 WPN Holiday Social

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Young Leaders Holiday Social

By: Chelle Gordon
UWSL Young Leader

What a great way to start December’s Holiday season!  On December 1st, the United Way Young Leaders gathered for a Holiday Social at Ruth’s Chris in Salt Lake City for hors d’oeuvres and drinks.  It was a rewarding night in many ways:

1) We were able to gather and meet current and new friends that are philanthropic-minded (those make some of the best new friends!)…and more importantly

2) We collectively donated over 100 pairs of shoes that will be used for Christmas presents for children.

Many people brought new potential Young Leaders and several groups stayed later (until 9:00pm) talking and enjoying each other’s company.  My guest remarked at how warm, welcoming, and open the people were at this event.  She decided she wanted to continue to associate with this group.  If you haven’t yet come to a Young Leaders event, please carve out some time in this next year to join us.  You, too, will be rewarded.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming Young Leaders volunteer event where we will get to “shop” in a warehouse full of donated gifts for children.  We will get to see our donated shoes in action and get to renew the holiday spirit as we help the children and families have a wonderful Christmas.  I hope you can join us this coming Wednesday (12/15) sometime between 11:00am-2:00pm for this great event.

Waiting for “Superman”

Join United Way of Salt Lake for a free screening of the new Davis Guggenheim documentary Waiting for “Superman.” This informative documentary has become the latest focal point in the debate around education reform.

Take the Pledge and Raise Your Hand for Education to receive your free ticket!

December 8, 2010
7:05 pm
Broadway Theater
111 East Broadway (300 South), Salt Lake City

If you have questions please contact Brian Guyer at

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