By Donna Andrews, volunteer with United Way of Salt Lake

I started volunteering with United Way of Salt Lake because I felt it was my time to give back to my community. UWSL offers such a variety of community projects to select from with flexible hours available.

There will be even more opportunities to volunteer with the organization in the coming weeks. UWSL will host several volunteer projects across the valley in celebration of National Volunteer Week, taking place April 16-20. I will be canvassing Kearns neighborhoods to spread the works about South Kearns Elementary School’s free preschool program and other projects can be found at Nationalvolunteerweek.uw.org/.

The chances to volunteer with UWSL aren’t limited to National Volunteer Week. I’ve enjoyed working with students in the classroom at vaious elementary schools in the Salt Lake area. The students are appreciative of our time and enthusiasm to work with them and I’ve learned more about some of the struggles students in our community face thanks to those volunteer experiences.

Here are some of the other ways I’ve volunteered with UWSL:

  • Vision Screening: During this project, we helped identify students who were in need of eyeglasses.
  • Mobile Food Pantry: Volunteers bagged and distributed food to families of elementary school students. 
  • Tutor Program: I tutor elementary students who are learning English.
  • Dr. Seuss Day: Volunteers read to and facilitated literacy themed activities, promoting a love of reading with students. This helped the students reach their literacy goals with the number of minutes spent reading in each district.
  • Science Wednesday: I helped students at Guadalupe School in Rose Park with fun interactive science experiments. There was no required science experience for volunteers, so I felt like I was learning alongside the kids.

I encourage everyone to celebrate volunteerism in our community by finding a project that interests you this National Volunteer Week! And know that you can continue making a difference any time of year by checking out other UWSL volunteer projects through the Volunteer Hub at Volunteer.uw.org/