heather_macdonald_1by Heather MacDonald
Volunteer and Community Engagement Director

For many volunteers, participating in United Way of Salt Lake’s Day of Caring or a company sponsored group volunteer opportunity is their first experience serving at one of our many great non-profits, schools, or neighborhood centers. Every year we receive positive feedback from the agencies that host volunteers with many of them saying they would not be able to accomplish some of their bigger projects without the “people-power” that a large day of service brings.

One-day service projects are a great way to experience different types of volunteer engagement ranging from general outdoor cleanup, painting, donation sorting, or putting together fun activities for kids and families. These types of projects are also great for volunteers who aren’t sure what type of volunteer opportunity to which they’d like to commit their time and talents. One-day service projects are also beneficial when groups of people can bring very specific skills to share with an organization such as financial literacy training, career presentations, or skilled trade work such as electrical, plumbing, or mechanical work.

This year we’d like to invite everyone to turn your “Day of Caring” into a Year of Service! Volunteers are needed all year long to help support academic achievement, to acclimate refugee families to a new culture, and support programs that provide for the basic needs of our community.

Read. Graduate. Succeed.We are working to recruit about 700 volunteer mentors and tutors to support students in both elementary and secondary schools through several programs within the Read. Graduate. Succeed. initiative. Elementary school mentors help students with either reading, math, or improving attendance. Secondary school mentors help students get on track to graduate from high school and be ready for post-secondary education. Volunteers work one-on-one with students once or twice a week for about an hour doing a range of activities including tutoring, homework help, and talking about educational goals and how to reach them. No prior experience working with students is required, and you don’t need to be a math or reading whiz. Volunteers will receive the necessary training to be effective in their role. All it takes is dedication and a passion for helping struggling students achieve their highest potential!

Volunteers can find additional information and sign up for the Read. Graduate. Succeed. program online at uw.org/read. Join the already 331 volunteers who are making a difference as mentors and tutors!