by Craig Foster
South Salt Lake Volunteer Coordinator
Summer vacation is just a few weeks away! All the stress from end of the year tests, final projects, and graduation can quickly be replaced by boredom and lazy days watching reruns on TV. But it doesn’t have to be that way! This summer you and your family could make a real difference in your community by getting involved with Summer of Service! Summer of Service is an exciting program that encourages kids, ages 5-18, to serve in the community during their summer vacation. You are never too young to LIVE UNITED! Youth volunteers make a huge economic impact in our community and across the country. Research has also shown that youth volunteers are more likely to do better in school, graduate, attend college, and be better citizens.
Getting involved in Summer of Service is easy! Start by visiting our website, uw.org/summer. Here you can register your family for the program, download copies of our handy service journal, and view a list of volunteer opportunities. Whether you choose an opportunity from the list provided or you decide to organize your own project in your neighborhood, like cleaning the park or visiting an elderly neighbor, what is important is that you get out and make a difference. Make sure you have permission to complete your project and contact the organization to make any necessary arrangements – then go and serve! While you are serving, take the opportunity to talk to those you are serving. Making connections and understanding the need you are helping to fill will make your experience much more meaningful. Then when you get home, take a few minutes to fill out our service journal. This is a great way to record your thoughts on your experience.
When your children complete 5, 10, or 25 hours of service and submit their completed service journal to the United Way of Salt Lake volunteer center, they will receive recognition for their accomplishments and an invitation to our Summer of Service party at Boondocks Fun Center -Draper in September. Those who complete all 25 hours will receive unlimited access to all the fun games and attractions that Boondocks has to offer. Party guests will also be in a drawing for prizes including a new youth bike and tickets to a REAL Salt Lake game.
We would love to have you join us at our United Way of Salt Lake Summer of Service project – Spreading Smiles. We will be creating dental hygiene kits for students in need at Granger Elementary School in West Valley City. Bring the kids on Saturday June 21, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. for a fun morning of service suitable for all ages. We will also have a drawing for a youth bike and REAL Salt Lake tickets at this activity as well. Please RSVP at uw.org/summer.
Summer of Service is generously sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Foundation and KSL.