BYU students and staff participated in a Day of Caring hosted by the United Way of Utah County on Sept. 11. The nationwide service event has been a tradition among Utah County schools and businesses for more than 20 years.
“It’s the best service event of the year,” said Provo Mayor John Curtis.
Almost 2,000 volunteers gathered Thursday morning for breakfast and entertainment provided by UVU’s Green Men at NuSkin in downtown Provo. As soon as everyone was registered and fed, the volunteers split up and went to 30 different elementary schools, community centers and charities in the valley to provide service.
BYU MPA students Abby Weidmer and Brett Adams were involved with a group of 50 students at Cherry Hill Elementary, painting playground games and reading to kids of all ages. This was one of several groups that included more than 250 total BYU students and staff members.
While the service projects are important to those whom they benefit, perhaps more significant is the opportunity the children are given to see people help others.
“We have lots of disadvantaged kids and kids that come from some tough backgrounds,” said Alisa Hart, principal at Cherry Hill. “To see people volunteering and giving of their time is such a good example for them.”
While the Day of Caring doesn’t always fall on Patriot Day, as it did this year, it is usually scheduled to take place during the week of Sept. 11.
“What a great day to do service and remember those who have given their lives in service to our nation,” said Jim Evans, a member of the United Way of Utah County Board of Directors.
Other service projects completed during the Day of Caring included cleaning, landscaping, painting and building.
“It’s amazing how much can get done when good people get together around a common vision,” said Bill Hulterstrom, president of United Way of Utah County.