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Utahns Encouraged to Participate in National Volunteer Recognition Week

Salt Lake City – Utah will join in National Volunteer Week, a nationwide effort to honor and celebrate ordinary people doing extraordinary things to improve communities across the country.  Observed between April 6-12 this year, it highlights the enormous contributions that volunteers make every day.

Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week focuses national attention on the impact and power of volunteerism as an integral aspect of our civic leadership. The week draws the support and endorsement of the President and Congress, governors, mayors and municipal leaders, as well as corporate and community groups across the country.

“National Volunteer Week is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities,” UServeUtah Executive Director LaDawn Stoddard said. “We can never say ‘thank you’ enough to the amazing individuals who give selflessly of their time to make a difference in our state.”

Utahns continue to demonstrate their strong commitment to improving local communities in a variety of ways through volunteerism, ranking Utah #1 in the nation for volunteering eight years running by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The most recent data shows more than 970,000 volunteers served approximately 165 million total hours, which is the equivalent of over 79,000 full-time employees.

The total estimated economic value of volunteer service in Utah was about $3 billion based on the Independent Sector’s annual estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour, which is $22.14.

UServeUtah encourages everyone to find a way to say “Thank You” to the volunteers that are making a difference in Utah communities every day.

For more information and ideas on ways to participate in National Volunteer Week visit the UServeUtah website at

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You Got SERVED! Pay it FORWARD! Pass it on!

Get involved in your community and impact the lives of others by volunteering! Then challenge your friends and family to do the same.

It’s easy to SERVE your friends. Just print out the “You Got SERVED” card and start handing them out!

Find an Opportunity:

Finding a way to contribute to the community is easy. Check out this list to find an opportunity in your own backyard. Volunteer opportunities range from onetime events to weekly commitments and everything in between.

Share your Story:

After you and your friends and family serve, come back to our website and share your story.  Tell us how service has made a mark in your life or the lives of those in your community. We are always on the hunt for stories to use on social media, in our annual report, in our newsletter and even in radio or TV public service announcements!

Print “Pay it Forward” Card

10 Fun & Simple Ways to Thank Volunteers

Do you find yourself wearing many hats at your organization: janitor, secretary, and chief bottle washer? All of this on top of managing one of your most valuable assets? Of course we are talking about your volunteers!

If any of this seems familiar this list is for you! We know you’re busy and finding the time to carve out a lunch break can be challenging let alone planning a volunteer recognition event.
However, with little to no planning, it’s still possible to thank volunteers and recognize their contributions during National Volunteer Week April 6-12, 2014.

Ideas for Busy Volunteers Managers

1.  Host a “Hats Off to Volunteers Day!  This is a fun and irreverent way to let volunteers know they’re appreciated and it’s easy to organize. Just have staff wear a hat on a specific day during National Volunteer Week then ask them to tip their hat each time they encounter a volunteer!

 2. Ask for input. Asking volunteers for feedback shows you respect their opinion and consider them a valuable team member. Thank them for their service by handing out a survey, holding a volunteer rap session, or installing a suggestion box.

 3. Secret Santa in April. Not quite… but you get the idea. Match staff members with volunteers and ask staff to leave notes, goodies, and small tokens of appreciation for their designated volunteer.

 4. The quickest way to a volunteer’s heart is through their stomach. Host a volunteer appreciation pot luck. Ask staff to bring a dish to share and use the lunch as an opportunity to recognize and thank volunteers.

5. Sing their praises…literally… Want to really make your volunteers swoon? Surprise them with an impromptu serenade. Your lovable voices may not make the cut for The Voice, but we bet you’ll melt your volunteer’s hearts! You can find volunteer related songs online, but for extra points make up your own lyrics that will resonate personally with volunteers.

6. Connect the dots. Paint the picture of how volunteer efforts are propelling your mission forward.  Develop a slide show of volunteers in action that illustrates impact or construct a bulletin board starring pictures of volunteers highlighting their achievements.

7. Water your volunteers and watch them grow. Keeping volunteers challenged with interesting assignments uses their talents and demonstrates your commitment. Many volunteers come to an organization hoping to expand horizons, advance careers, or cultivate new interests. Provide volunteers opportunities for growth and enrichment by asking them to serve on advisory committees, offering training opportunities, and leadership roles.

8. Shout it from the roof tops. Broadcast your volunteers’ contributions to everyone in the community. Hang a banner in town or in front of your office thanking volunteers, write a press release recognizing volunteers for their service, and highlight volunteers on your website and social media.

9. Give a crafty token of appreciation. Visit our Pinterest page to find witty ideas to thank volunteers. Here’s a few to get you started:

  • Mini box of Frosted Flakes cereal with a note that says “You’re Grrrreat!”
  • Peanuts with a note that says, “We would go nuts without your support!”
  • Cinnamon bun with a note that says, “Thanks for working your buns off!”
  • Lifesavers candy with a note that says, “You’re a lifesaver!”

10. Just say THANK YOU! Give a handwritten note thanking volunteers individually. Get creative by including a poem. Write your own your or check out these volunteer themed ones. If you have a little money to spare including a personal note inside a copy of “Chicken Soup for the Volunteers Soul” is a nice touch.

Utah Mayors to join Nationwide Effort to Recognize Impact of National Service

Salt Lake City – On April 1, Mayors across the state will join with more than 1,200 mayors across the country in a day of recognition to highlight the impact of national service in local communities.

The following Utah mayors listed below are participating in a variety of ways including, signing a declaration of recognition, holding recognition events, and sending thank you cards to national service participants who serve in their communities:


Alta: Tom Pollard Pleasant View: Toby Mileski
Bluffdale: Derk Timothy Price: Joe Piccolo
Cedar City: Maile Wilson Providence: Don Calderwood
Cottonwood Heights: Kelvyn Cullimore Jr. Provo: John Curtis
Draper: Troy Walker Riverton: William Applegarth
Farr West: Z. Lee Dickmore River Heights: James Brackner
Harrisville: Bruce Richins Riverdale: Norm Searle
Herriman: Carmen Freeman Roy: Willard Cragun
Holladay: Robert Dahle Salt Lake City: Ralph Becker
Hyrum: Stephanie Miller Salt Lake County: Ben McAdams
Kaysville: Steve Hiatt Sandy: Tom Dolan
Logan: Craig Peterson Smithfield: Darrell Simmons
Midvale: JoAnn Seghini South Jordan: David Alvord
Moab: David Sakrison South Ogden: James Minster
Murray: Ted Eyre South Salt Lake: Cherie Wood
North Ogden: Brent Taylor St. George: John Pike
Ogden: Mike Caldwell Taylorsville: Larry Johnson
Orem: Richard Brunst Washington Terrace: Mark Allen

In Salt Lake County, Mayor Ben McAdams will recognize the impacts of national service through a declaration that will be presented at the Salt Lake County Council meeting on April 8, 4 p.m. in the county council chambers.

Across the nation mayors are increasingly turning to national service and volunteerism as a cost-effective strategy to address city challenges at a time of fiscal constraint.  The Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service is bipartisan effort to recognize the positive impact of national service in cities, to thank those who serve, and to encourage citizens to give back to their communities.

For more information on the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service, including background and a list of participating mayors, visit

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20th Anniversary


For the last 20 years, the Utah Commission on Service and Volunteerism has worked to enable individuals, communities and organizations in Utah to benefit from the service, power, skills, and passion of volunteers. For the last eight years, Utah has ranked # 1 for volunteerism in the nation.

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Utah Commission on Service and Volunteerism, it is our pleasure to announce a year of service. Through this year of service we will focus our outreach in four quarters on major areas of volunteerism and National Service.

UServeUtah celebrates 20 years of exceptional service, strengthening Utah communities through the POWER of service and volunteerism. Each year in Utah 970,000 Utahns volunteer 165 million hours which is an econmic impact of $3 Billion dollars. There were 1,125 AmeriCorps members serving in Utah in 2013. These members served 721,242 hours. AmeriCorps is a $9,069,230 annual public-private investment in Utah’s economy.

March – May:  Healthy Futures

Every day, millions of Americans face health problems that reduce their quality of life. Nearly half of U.S. adults don’t get needed preventive health services, too many of our nation’s children and youth have unhealthy eating habits and don’t get enough exercise, and many of those over 65 need physical assistance to live independently in their homes during their golden years. National service programs provide much-needed services to underserved areas to help our citizens improve their health through a three-pronged approach of assistance, prevention, and intervention. Read more here:

Organizations and Project Ideas

  • Nonprofit organizations providing health education and medical services
    • Volunteer to train/educate individuals and families on healthy lifestyles
    • Organize a senior health and wellness fair in your community
    • Nutrition assistance programs/organizations
      • Create and distribute a nutritional meal plan for low-income families
      • Start or help with a community garden
      • School districts conducting a healthy habits campaign
        • Volunteer to teach young students about healthy foods


June – August: Environmental Stewardship and Veteran and Military Families

Environmental Stewardship

The state of our environment plays a major role in the health of our citizens and the American economy. Some of our natural resources are being endangered by air, land, and water pollution; encroachments on open spaces; and threats to biodiversity. The use of nonrenewable energy sources for residential and transportation purposes also factors into many environmental concerns, as our nation seeks to reduce its dependence on those resources in the future. Through national service, we can train our youth and unemployed and underemployed citizens for conservation and “green” jobs, reconnect Americans to the outdoors, build an ethic of environmental stewardship, and support successful science-based conservation strategies. Read more here:

Organizations and Project Ideas

  • County Parks & Recreation Departments
    • Volunteer to clean and maintain local parks and green space
    • US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management
      • Volunteer to create or maintain trails in national parks
      • Local environmental centers
        • Volunteer to provide an education program to adults and children on protecting the environment
        • Raise awareness of recycling programs and requirements in your community


Veteran and Military Families

Serving those who served us, as well as engaging the talents of our veterans and military families is a strategic priority for national service programs. Across the country, we regularly commit millions of dollars and countless volunteer hours to this mission. We are committed to increasing efforts to assist our veterans and military families. In addition, we are increasing our investment and partnerships with other federal, state, local, and non-profits from coast to coast. Read more here:

Organizations and Project Ideas

  • State veteran/military affairs offices
    • Volunteer to raise awareness of state and federal programs to assist military personnel and veterans
    • Volunteer to provide training on job placement
    • Veteran Affairs Medical Centers
      • Volunteer to visit, read to and plan activities for veterans at the medical center

September – December: Education and Disaster Services


In order for all of our students to succeed, the education system must provide the academic support and encouragement at-risk children need to thrive. Too many students enter school unprepared and that makes it tough for them to keep pace with their better-off peers. Others lose interest along the way unless a concerned adult intervenes to prevent behaviors that can lead to them drop out later. National service programs are in schools and building capacity in communities across America. Our AmeriCorps members are helping to improve students’ academic achievement by increasing their engagement and providing one-on-one time with a concerned, involved adult. Read more here:

Organizations and Project Ideas

  • Local school districts
    • Volunteer in the classroom to help a teacher and student
    • Mentor and tutor students
    • Coordinate a local book drive to help fill the school’s library
    • Nonprofit organizations dedicated to education
      • Help raise awareness of needs in Utah’s education system

Disaster Services

National Service programs helps communities across the nation prepare, respond, and recover from natural and man-made disasters. From forest fires and floods, to hurricanes and tornadoes, to terror attacks and oil spills, participants in national service programs have provided critical support to millions of Americans affected by disasters since 1994. Reflecting the agency’s growing expertise and commitment in disaster services, the CNCS board of directors made disaster services one the agency’s focus areas for its 2011-2015 strategic plan. These activities cover the full range of disaster services from response to long-term recovery, preparedness, and mitigation. Read more at:

Organizations and Project Ideas

  • Organizations dedicated to disaster preparedness, training, etc.
    • Volunteer as a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member
    • Volunteer with Neighborhood Watch to protect your community
    • Volunteer as a member of FireCorps, Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) or Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) through your local emergency service agencies
    • Coordinate a community training on emergency preparedness and help community members assemble 72-hour kits

November – Economic Opportunity and Family Volunteering

Economic Opportunity

In 2011, 22 percent of U.S. children lived in poverty and 33 percent of our children lived in families in which neither parent had full-time, year-round jobs. On a single night in America, 636,017 people were homeless — essentially as many people as live in Baltimore, MD. National Service programs are dedicated to creating economic opportunity to improve the financial well-being and security of economically disadvantaged individuals. Community organizations across the country are learning about specific interventions to address the housing, financial literacy, and employment needs of low-income populations. Read more here:

Organizations and Project Ideas

  • Nonprofit organizations dedicated to financial planning, financial literacy, etc.
    • Volunteer to assist low-income persons with tax preparation
    • Provide trainings and presentations on financial literacy to youth
    • Act as a mentor to individuals and families transitioning into housing and who are seeking employment
    • Volunteer with your family to assist low-income families in needs










If no needs display below, there are currently no disasters in Utah where needs have overwhelmed the existing support systems in the communities. By giving responsibly, donors can provide the most beneficial support to survivors and to disaster relief efforts. Monetary contributions to trusted relief agencies already on the ground in affected areas ensure that people receive exactly what they need, when they need it. Cash donations allow relief agencies to purchase needed supplies that are fresh and familiar to survivors, and that are culturally, nutritionally and environmentally appropriate.

Global Youth Service Day Grants

The Utah Commission on Service & Volunteerism is now accepting applications for Global Youth Service Day grants from Utah non-profit organizations. The goal of these grants is to increase the number of youth between the age of 5 and 25 serving in meaningful roles as volunteers dedicated to addressing important needs in communities across Utah.

Grants up to $800 will be awarded to Utah non-profit organizations to assist in creating projects that occur between April 11-26, 2014. A minimum of 100 youth volunteers must be recruited and used in the projects.

2014 Global Youth Service Day Grant Instructions

2014 Global Youth Service Day Grant Application

Global Youth Service Day Toolkits

MLK Day of Service

In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort. Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a “day on, not a day off.”  It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”

Why Serve on MLK Day of Service?

Dr. King believed in a nation of freedom and justice for all, and encouraged all citizens to live up to the purpose and potential of America by applying the principles of nonviolence to make this country a better place to live—creating the Beloved Community.

The MLK Day of Service is a way to transform Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and teachings into community action that helps solve social problems. That service may meet a tangible need, or it may meet a need of the spirit.

Volunteers across Utah are engaging in service on or around Martin Luther King Junior Day. Many of these service opportunities are looking for more volunteers. Check out the list of service opportunities or if you have a project consider registering it by visiting the site.

We also have Toolkits for creating projects.


Projects sponsored by UServeUtah

Bennion Center – U of U
January 18th
Maliheh Free Clinic, where volunteers will do building repairs, cleaning, and painting; First Step House, where volunteers will work with residents on deep cleaning projects; The Big Brothers/Big Sisters donation sorting center, where volunteers will sort clothing and other donations prior to sale at Savers.

Boys & Girls Club of Weber-Davis
January 17th
Beautification and Upgrades at Odyssey in Ogden:  1) Installation of new backboards, hoops and nets on the basketball courts; 2) build a box garden for teacher and student use as a learning tool in growing vegetables and herbs in the spring; 3) make hygiene kits and write letters to local armed forces;  4) Conduct a major clean-up for Odyssey Park and Public Park areas.

January 20th
Our goal is to have over 1,000 volunteers come to BYU the morning of MLK day. There will be 20-25 different service projects from which volunteers will be able to choose from and volunteer 2 hours of service.

Cache Valley
January 13th – 20th
Community Mini-Lending Library Project~
TEAM Mentoring and several of our partner organizations will be building mini-lending libraries to be set-up in various locations around the valley. The project will also include a book drive to stock the mini-lending libraries.
Volunteer Center Social Media ‘Service Forward’ Marathon Project~
Utilizing social media to promote the ‘Pay It Forward’ model in a service project marathon from January 13th-20th, this project has a goal of including more than 1,000 Cache Valley citizens in service and getting them linked to the volunteer center social media sites.

Iron County
January 13th – 20th
Our MLK Day of Service project will include a food and clothing drive and making quilts for the Canyon Creek Women’s Crisis Center. The Iron County Quilters Guild will be a partner for the event, teaching anyone interested in learning how to quilt. Canyon Creek Women’s Crisis Center provides a quilt to each family as they enter the shelter that they can take with them when they leave.

Kol Ami
January 19th
We will gather as families and individuals at Congregation Kol Ami, the state’s largest synagogue, to remember the legacy of Dr. King and to do a variety of projects to benefit the community: blood drive, making seed bags for growing food, writing letters to legislators, making blankets for children in hospitals, and making cards for homebound elderly.

Washington County
January 13th – 20th
Washington County School District and elementary students and teachers will be writing letters to military members and veterans in the Washington County area.
* We will package meals and school supplies for low-income students in the Washington County School District service area.  We will be doing a food drive and clothing drive for the five county service area (Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane, Washington) we serve.
* We will be working with other local area businesses and nonprofits to provide a hot breakfast for homeless and low-income residents, including veterans and children.
* We will be having our youth service corps helping our local Habitat for Humanity with several homes that they will be constructing during that week.

Weber State University
On Monday, January 20th, NAACP will be hosting a breakfast and Freedom March.
On Tuesday, January 21st, the American Democracy project will be hosting an WSU Remembers MLK Week of Service kickoff event wherein students will listen to the I Have A Dream speech and hear from one of WSU’s alumni Amir Jackson.
On Wednesday, January 22nd, volunteers will assist in the YMCA appreciation for reading program.
On Thursday, January 23rd, volunteers will tie fleece blankets for the St. Martha’s Baby Project room and the Linus Project.
On Friday, January 24th, volunteers will be visiting classes of cooperating teachers at Odyssey Elementary to deliver MLK bookmarks and teach the students about Martin Luther King Jr, his values and about social justice.
Throughout the WSU Remembers MLK Week of Service, volunteers will be conducting a week-long food drive to help re-stock the Ogden Joyce Hansen Hall Food Bank after the holiday blitz on food.

Contact Us

U Serve Utah logo


image of map of Rio Grande

click to enlarge image

300 South Rio Grande Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101
Directions  (Google Maps)
Phone: 1-888-755-UTAH (8824)
Fax: 801-355-3081

General Hours of Operation:
Monday thru Thursday 8 am to 5 pm
Friday 10 am to 5 pm

LaDawn Stoddard
Executive Director
Katie Barlow
Administrative Support Specialist
Tracy Bodily
Strategic Initiatives Coordinator
Don Willie
National Service Coordinator
Pearl Wright
Community Engagement Coordinator
Ann Dent


Instructions for parking:
Street Parking is available around the building on 500 West and on Rio Grande Street which is just off of 300 South. 
We are located inside of the Rio Grande Depot in Salt Lake City.
Check in at the security desk and then we will be there to greet you!

We are conveniently located just east of the UTA Central Station which can be accessed by Frontrunner, TRAX, and many bus lines. Visit for the latest transit schedules.

Spontaneous Volunteer Management

The training schedule at this time includes:

April 3, 2014 – St. George
290 S 700 E, St George, Utah, 84770

May 29, 2014 – Provo
UFRA Facility, 3131 Mike Jense Pkwy, Provo, UT 84601

July 9, 2014 – Layton
Location to be announced

Register on U-Train

Course ID#: 1049904

Please check back here for the latest information on Spontaneous Volunteer Management or contact for more information.

Spontaneous Volunteer Management:
Setting up a Volunteer Reception Center

The purpose of these trainings is to provide local municipalities with best practices and materials, in order to prepare local communities to handle the management of spontaneous or unaffiliated volunteers in times of disasters (SVM). These trainings will also allow local municipalities the opportunity to self identify with the state, those individuals that are prepared to manage spontaneous volunteers if a larger event were to occur where their skill sets could be called upon.

spontaneous volunteersVolunteers – sometimes hundreds, sometimes thousands – show up to help after a disaster, bringing skills, energy and compassion to the relief effort. These trainings seek to help local communities plan for the coordination of spontaneous and unaffiliated volunteers during disaster recovery efforts.

Each municipality in attendance will receive a “Go-Kit” that will contain all the materials necessary to initially stage a Volunteer Reception Center or VRC. Local municipalities including towns, cities, and counties should identify key players to serve as VRC Managers as well as VRC teams. It is recommended that municipalities send at least 3 individuals to this training and up to 5 individuals per locality. Tuition for each municipality team is $100. This fee covers the training materials, lunch, a snack and a go kit. The go-kit alone has a value of over $200.

It is highly recommended that the emergency manager or at least one individual who attends be familiar with NIMS and ICS as well as the local emergency plan in order to provide context to the other individuals in attendance from a specific locality. Materials are derived from FEMA and Points of Light Trainings which incorporate knowledge of emergency management with knowledge of volunteer management to create a cohesive and usable set of skills for volunteer managers.

Topics in the training will include: Disaster Basics, Intro to Spontaneous Volunteers, Intro to Risk Management, National Service and Disasters, Affiliated Volunteers, Donations Management, Virtual Management of Volunteers, VRC Exercise.

For more information on these training opportunities, please contact Tracy Bodily at These trainings are being conducted in coordination with DEM and the Utah Volunteer and Donations Coordination team (VDCT) and the State Emergency Operations Plan.