BYU students reach out with United Way



    United Way of Utah County sponsored a Day of Caring on Wednesday, cleaning, building and working to benefit nonprofit Utah County organizations.

    “Just over 400 people were there,” said Alyssa Foote, the campaign coordinator at United Way of Utah County. Those 400 people were volunteers from various employers throughout Utah County.

    BYU employees were among the many volunteers, which totalled about 170, said Phyllis Jensen, BYU’s United Way coordinator.

    Foote said the volunteers started the morning off with a breakfast at Cougar Stadium.

    Lone Peak High School marching band and a juggler were on hand to entertain the volunteers while they ate breakfast, Foote said. A game of trivia questions was also played while they ate.

    The volunteers were given T-shirts, which changed color in the sun, for their work, Foote said.

    Adorned in their color-changing T-shirts, the volunteers went to work. They covered Utah County to work at the Alpine House, Center for Women and Children in Crisis, Community Action Services, Family Support and Treatment Center, Habitat for Humanity homes, Kids on the Move, Recreation and Habilitation Services, Red Cross and the Lindon LDS Welfare Cannery.

    BYU employees went to the Alpine House, Family Support and Treatment Center, Recreation and Habilitation Services, and Habitat for Humanity homes, Jensen said.

    Jensen said the BYU employees moved furniture, worked on plumbing, did landscaping, built a shed and cleaned.

    Garry Briggs, manager of Family Housing at BYU, took six of his staff and worked at RAH.

    “We built a shed. The instructions said it would take one hour — it took us four,” Briggs said.

    He said they couldn’t read the instructions, but carpenters from a physical plant came to help, and then they were able to get it done.

    Briggs said other people were cleaning up stacks of wood, pulling weeds and washing RAH vans.

    “It was a beehive there for a while,” Briggs said.

    Allen Arnoldsen, an accountant at the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, also gave his service at RAH.

    “It was awesome. I pulled weeds and edged around trees and flower beds,” Arnoldsen said.

    He said he liked working with the four people from his department who attended.

    “It was really a good feeling. It built comradery among workers,” Arnoldsen said.

    Rixa Oman, assistant to the dean of the Marriott School, also went to RAH.

    Oman folded newsletters and sorted mail for RAH. The person who usually did that at RAH was sick this week, so it was good timing for the Day of Caring, she said.

    “This was a fun chance to do something you don’t usually do,” Oman said.

    One common plea among those who attended was that they wish more people were there.

    “More people should be involved so we could get even more done,” Arnoldsen said.

    Oman has participated in the Day of Caring for the last three years and said she plans to be involved next year too.

    Jensen said Wednesday’s success will be looked forward to next year by BYU employees.

    “They all said they wanted to come back and do it again next year,” she said.

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