United Way Day of Caring unites Utah County employees

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Hundreds of volunteers gathered on the lawn early Sept. 12 near the Provo City Center Temple and Nu Skin Enterprises building for the United Way of Utah County’s Day of Caring.

Volunteers took four hours out of their normal schedules as professors, first responders, programmers and other occupations to work on various service projects throughout Utah County.

The day started off with Utah County mayors, council members, and other leaders serving breakfast to the volunteers.

Mayors, council members, leaders and employees of Utah County serve breakfast to Day of Caring volunteers on Sept. 12. (Natalie Baugh)

“Serving feels refreshing and really puts things into perspective for me,” Josh Downs, a software developer for Xactware, said.  

As a first-time participant, Downs said he was grateful to see the impact his group had at a local food bank. They painted, organized food, put up signs, added baseboards and tidied the yard. 

Downs said it was nice to take the time to serve his community and that doing so helped him find more purpose in his work.

“Service has always been a way to decompress and step out of my daily life in order to help make other people’s lives better,” he said. “I am very happy to work for a company that cares about more than the bottom line.”

Scattered throughout Utah County, groups met at different project sites and schools to provide services such as gardening, reading to children and painting.

Tricia Lester, a parent support specialist for a United Way program called Help Me Grow, was responsible for a project conducted at Sharon Elementary School. The project involved volunteers from GoReact as well as firefighters, policemen and EMTs from Orem City.

Tricia Lester, parent support specialist for Help Me Grow, lays out shirts for volunteers on Thursday morning, Sept. 12 in front of Nu Skin. (Natalie Baugh)

GoReact’s employees did a science, technology, engineering and math presentation for the upper grades.

“They did a great job,” Lester said. “It was like they had been teaching school their whole lives.”

Meanwhile, Orem City firefighters, EMTs and police officers interacted with the younger grades. They read books, helped kids color and shared safety tips. 

A volunteer from the Orem Fire Department colors with kids at Sharon Elementary School. (Trisha Lester)

For Debra Causey, an office specialist at the Provo City Police Records Department, volunteering was rewarding.

“I always love when I can help someone that needs the help. It reminds you that there are still good, caring individuals in the world,” she said.

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