I’ve been thinking about the same things as Deb wrote about below. I really want to be the kind of person with the desire to always be trying to make people smile or have a better day.
I just got back from a quick trip across the country to New York. I was pleasantly surprised at what I found.
Besides the 50 or so random acts of kindness I experienced, there were two moments that were probably my most favorite of the entire trip.
The first night we were there, we ventured into Times Square. As we were walking down the street, we realized there was confetti surrounding us. We looked up to find this woman throwing it, about 15 stories up. She did not stop for about 20 minutes as she waved and smiled to everyone below. I still think about that experience and smile.
The second was on a Sunday morning. My friends and I were walking through Central Park trying to find the John Lennon memorial. When we arrived, we found a crowd of people surrounding a haphazard band playing Beatles songs. It serendipitously happened to be his birthday and for an hour or so we sat and listened. People were swaying, singing along, and savoring the beautiful music and morning. I don’t think anyone would have ever wanted to leave that spot.
The two experiences were very different from each other, but both made me so happy! I’m not the most creative of people, but I think we could all find different ways to brighten this world. I’m grateful for people who aren’t afraid to do something different. I love when strangers smile at me or give me a compliment. I love getting to a stop sign at the same time as someone else, but they usher for you to go first. Look for ways to make peoples day’s brighter. You don’t have to be the most creative, like the people I described above. You just have to have the desire to make other people’s lives (and your own) happier!
As the sweet song goes, “Rain rain, coming down on the ground, go away and come again another…never.”
Something like that, right?
Being from Washington, I have to admit that I LOVE the rain! What I DON’T love, however, is what rain means in Utah. Rain in Utah means that we’re experiencing our one week of Autumn.
Goodbye sun, helloooo snow!
Don’t worry! All is not lost. I am here to tell you to enjoy Fall while it lasts! Autumns in Utah are beautiful! Grab your friends, your family, your dog (or pet fish, if you’d like), and head up the canyons to enjoy the gorgeousness that is nature!!
Now I believe that with snow and limited daylight comes various forms of seasonal…um…sadness (if you will, and I know you will). That being said, the greatest of all prevention techniques against seasonal sadness is SERVICE! Keep focused on beautiful things by serving people around you!
Simple acts of service include:
- Smiling at people
- Writing a note to your husband, wife or significant other.
- Take your kids to the park and enjoy the snow!
- Read a book with your children over the cold months.
- Make your mom a mug of hot chocolate and clean your room while you’re at it.
- Sponsor a family for Christmas!
- Let a car merge into your lane.
- Don’t get mad when said car drives slow.
- Sing a song! (or not…this might NOT be an act of service for those around you, let them decide.)
So many wonderful ideas! Any other ideas? Please share! I hope you breathe deep and enjoy this weather!!
**This was an email we received from one of our great companies who participated in Day of Caring. Thank you Kip and Proquest for helping make Utah County a better place!
Just wanted to thank you for a great event with the Day of Caring this year. Our office representation was small with only four people (we only have six editors to begin with), but we appreciated having an opportunity to share our “widow’s mite.” We felt like the work we did at Mountainlands Headstart was worthwhile and appreciated. We mowed, raked, clipped, washed, and painted. And when we were about finished, the children who attend the school surveyed our work and then yelled “THANK YOU!” in unison. Very cute!
We also appreciated the breakfast, the t-shirts, and the other event coordination provided by the United Way of Utah County. And we look forward to doing this again next year.
It’s been over a week since Day of Caring, but the stories are still coming. With over 1,250 volunteers and 31 projects, there were some incredible improvements and additions to schools, homes, and community nonprofit organizations.
Every staff member and intern at United Way oversees a project and I was able to work with the Boys and Girls Club. Adobe was also assigned to that project and did an incredible job, working past the allotted time and nearly accomplishing the Club’s very long to-do list.
I can’t even remember everything they did because (very seriously), it was so much!
Here’s what I can remember:
Demolished the kitchen and installed new cabinets
Repainted the arts and crafts room floor
Cleaned all of the paint off the tables
Stained the benches/arches in the front of the club
Removed and reorganized all the paperwork and supplies in the shed
Weeded the entire outside
Trimmed the trees to prevent them from clogging the gutters, as well as the bushes
Fixed door handles, locks, exit signs, backpack hangers
Fixed the balance beam
Replaced 20 ceiling tiles from rain damage
Painted the movie room
Washed all the windows
Cleaned all the blinds
Painted multiple doors and door frames
AND, that happened in 4 hours.
I think my favorite part about Day of Caring is the variety of people who come out to serve and the real desire that people have to serve their community. I’m grateful for the opportunity to meet and serve alongside nonprofits who are truly making a difference and volunteers who have such a strong desire to serve!
Post written by Rachel P., one of our amazing AmeriCorps VISTAs.
This summer I had the great opportunity of organizing the weekly Summer of Service events that United Way of Utah County coordinates every summer. Summer of Service is a national program that encourages individuals, especially youth, to volunteer during their summer break rather than watch TV or play video games all summer long.
We helped set-up chairs and tables for a Kids on the Move fundraiser,
take care of the horses at Hoofbeats to Healing,
put together “Snack Sacks” for Community Action Services and Food Bank,
and so much more!
The funny thing about service is that it often changes you more than anything. Running the United Way of Utah County Summer of Service program gave me the great opportunity of meeting the Whitworth family, a family of 5 kids that changed my life more than they might ever know.
After coming to a United Way of Utah County Summer of Service event the Whitworth family decided to take volunteering to a whole new level! They decided to log their hours toward earning the Presidential Service Award. And of course, just not the bronze but the GOLD award! This meant that these young kids (all under 14) had to do 100+ hours of service in just 3 months! These kids will have the great honor of receiving their awards from the Lt. Governor Greg Bell at an awards banquet organized by the Commission on Volunteers. The mother of these children, Cynthia, has already taught her children the importance of the words “LIVE UNITED.” I only hope that I might be able to teach my own children that same message. Thank you Whitworth family for your great example and inspiration!
**With the recent earthquakes and possible hurricane, we thought it would be nice to post some ideas on how you can help your family be prepared in case of a disaster. This post was written by guest blogger George V. our AmeriCorps VISTA leader in charge of emergency preparedness. Contact us for more ideas on what to do to be prepared in case of an emergency.
September marks the eighth annual National Preparedness Month - one month designed to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies and disasters. Even though we don’t know when or where disasters and emergencies may strike, we do know that we can do more to be prepared for the unexpected.
- The earthquakes in Colorado and the mid-Atlantic region is are a great reminder that emergencies can strike anywhere and often happen without warning. Be sure your family has an emergency plan and a kit of emergency supplies to sustain yourselves for at least 72 hours.And as a reminder, here are a few tips on what to do during/after an earthquake:If indoors, DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ONuntil the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
If outdoors, move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
Voice data networks may be congested after a disaster, so send a text message or e-mail to loved ones to let them know you’re OK.
Follow the direction of local officials when making the decision to return home. Return home only when local authorities have said it’s safe.
Get a Kit- Be ready with an emergency supply kit so you can be self-sufficient for three - five days. Don’t forget some basic emergency supplies in your vehicle as well.
Be Informed - Be informed about Utah’s natural hazards and get to know the local emergency manager in your community.
Get Involved - Look for opportunities to help others become better prepared and volunteer your expertise and talents. Become a CERT member in your community.
The time and effort we invest now in preparing will help us navigate through and recover quickly from what may come our way at the most unexpected moment. The time to do planning is now before the next disaster strikes..
For the sixth year in a row, Utah was again ranked as the #1 volunteering state in the nation. The report tracks all 51 states. The national average has 26.5 % of adults volunteering, with Utah ranking nearly double at 44.5 %.
Working at United Way, we are lucky to be able to see so many of those volunteers first-hand. There are extremely dedicated community members wanting to improve the lives and situations of others. From meeting with first time mothers, coaching soccer, sponsoring a family with Sub for Santa, mentoring a child, or helping someone do their taxes through VITA, there are numerous ways I’ve seen people make a real difference in their community.
The Salt Lake Tribune stated that, “The origins of Utah’s healthy volunteer spirit run deep, of course, as they would in any community with a strong tradition of religiously based service and giving. But it goes beyond religion, involving longtime residents and newcomers, seniors and students, faith-based and politically motivated.”
Even one hour of service every week can truly make an impact.
Are you or a family member one of the 218,000 Utahns who suffer from asthma? If so, the Utah County Health Department wants to hear from you. This is your opportunity to speak out on how asthma affects your family’s life and what you think the Utah Department of Health can do to make dealing with asthma easier for those who suffer from it.
If you would like more information about the Town Hall meeting, you can call the Utah County Health Department at 801-851-7509.
- About Us
- Donate Now
- Workplace Giving
- Corporate Cornerstone
- Leadership Giving
- Planned Giving
- Loyal Contributor
- Women in Philanthropy
- United eWay
- Focus your Contribution
- Find Help