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Community Service Programs Will Showcase Successes at Utah State Capitol

I heart national service logoSALT LAKE CITY — On February 9, 2017, national service programs from across the state will gather at the Utah State Capitol to share their role in building strong communities. National Service Day on the Hill is an opportunity for program managers to engage policy makers and spotlight those who improve the quality of life in Utah through volunteerism. Continue reading

2017 MLK Day Projects

volunteers doing a service project

Congratulations to our 2017 MLK Day of Service grant winners! Join us next year for MLK Day of Service.

Brigham Young University Center for Service and Learning
BYU will celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. by hosting a cultural celebration followed by 25-30 service projects on-campus and in various locations in Provo and Orem. Each service project is designed to help the community through beautification, community clean-up projects and meeting needs of individuals in stressful situations, and by providing comfort and peace to those in need. Get involved.

Family Support Center of Southwestern Utah
The mission of the Family Support Center of Southwestern Utah is to strengthen families, protect children, and promote healthy relationships through educational support, respite care, home visitation services, crisis intervention and community collaboration. This MLK Day, the center will be turned into a portrait studio where both current clients and families in the community can have free family portraits taken. Anyone can help out this MLK Day, including skills-based volunteers with experience in photography, hair and make-up, and carpentry. Get involved.

Habitat for Humanity of Weber and Davis Counties
Habitat for Humanity of Weber and Davis Counties is hosting a week long garage sale where volunteers will sort, organize, and assist in raising funds for local families in need. Volunteers will meet the next three families whose homes they are building and for which this event is raising funds for. This is a wonderful opportunity for volunteers to understand the needs of families in their community, and help give back. Get Involved.

Neighborhood House
Neighborhood house will host their free January Thrift Shop from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm at their Children’s Center on January 17. From 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. on January 17, the Thrift Shop is combined with a Resource Fair to connect families with additional services that promote education and literacy, combat poverty, support older and disabled adults, and help low-income families improve their quality of life. Volunteers are needed to organize, sort and display donations for the Thrift Shop. Get involved.

Playworks Utah
Playworks is teaming up with the Association for Utah Community Health and the Boys and Girls Club of Utah County to sew monster dolls and write notes for patients in long-term care at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital. Playworks needs help making 600 monster dolls this MLK Day. Volunteers are encouraged to register by January 9th.

Public School Partnership
On January 16, the Public & School Partnership and Cache Valley National Service Alliance (CVNSA) will engage volunteers in a food, hygiene, household, and baby supply drive in Cache County. Stations will be set up at four local grocery stores where National Service and community volunteers will solicit food, household, hygiene, and baby supply donations from store patrons and local residents. Get involved.

University of Utah Bennion Center
The Bennion Center will engage the University of Utah students and the community in action, change, and learning by participating in a morning of service on Saturday, January 21, 2017. Volunteers are needed at the following locations across the Salt Lake Valley: Big Brothers Big Sisters, First Step House, Friends for Sight, Maliheh Free Clinic, Knitting Necessities at the Bennion Center, United Way Home Fire Campaign, Utah AIDS Foundation. Get involved.

Weber State University Center for Community Engaged Learning
Weber State University will engage student and community volunteers in 6 different events happening over 6 days, beginning with a breakfast, presentation, and Freedom March honoring the vision and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Volunteers are needed to help make fleece blankets for Your Community Connection, assist with a Special Olympics volleyball tournament, mentor youth at the YMCA and GOAL foundation, and organize donations for the CCS of Northern Utah. Get involved.

Or, check out this list of service opportunities. If you have a project consider registering it by visiting the site. We also have Toolkits for creating projects.


Utah #1 in volunteering for 11th year

Utah continues to lead the country in volunteer rates, according to data released Nov. 15 by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The release of the Volunteering and Civic Life in America report marks the 11th year Utah has led the nation in total volunteerism.

According to the report, Utah is the only state to achieve a total volunteerism rate above 40 percent. Utah had 43 percent of their residents volunteer, while the second-highest state, Minnesota, had 35 percent of their residents volunteer.

Volunteer activities, which can include everything from distributing food to mentoring to coaching youth sports, will prove even more important as a way to strengthen communities. In a country often divided on political lines, volunteering can provide a bridge between differences.

“Utahns have a strong history of volunteering and building their communities through service, which this ranking reflects,” Gov. Gary R. Herbert said. “Our greater sense of cooperation and charity makes for a more civil, generous society.”

The Volunteering and Civic Life in America report is part of a comprehensive study of volunteering and civic engagement in the United States. Annual data on volunteering and civic activities was collected from Americans age 16 and older through the Current Population Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

According to the data, 844,023 Utah residents volunteered a total of 170 million hours of service. Those volunteer hours translated to an economic benefit of $3.8 billion. Additionally, 65 percent of Utah residents donated $25 or more to charity.

Three cities in Utah also ranked high in the report. Ogden claimed the top spot for mid-size cities from Provo, which fell to second. Salt Lake City has the second-highest percentage of residents volunteering among large cities.

Looking for opportunities to volunteer in your community? Visit our resources page.


Service Survey

Help us shape service and volunteerism in Utah

Utah is well known for the generosity of its citizens, whether it be through financial or human capital and has been ranked the #1 most charitable state in the country. This generosity has enriched the lives of citizens across the state in many ways, especially through service and volunteerism.

UServeUtah, the Lieutenant Governor’s Office for Service and Volunteerism, develops and annually updates a statewide plan for service to adapt services and resources to better meet community needs.

By participating in this survey, you will help guide UServeUtah’s new strategic plan and shape the future of the state’s goals, priorities, and strategies for utilizing service and volunteerism to better address community needs. This plan will be the road-map to building a framework that harnesses and focuses our unique and invaluable resource – the amazing cultural ethic of service and volunteerism that exists among Utah citizens.

We value your opinion as we launch this planning effort and appreciate your time and your input!

Take the survey here.

GIVE Salt Lake

As we become increasingly interconnected, we have an opportunity to rise to a new standard of collective impact. GIVE Salt Lake is an opportunity for business and nonprofit leaders to align their efforts—and produce large-scale data-driven social impact. This 2nd annual event will offer two days of inspiring leadership, networking and partnership, and impact educational experiences in both corporate giving and nonprofit management. To find more information or to buy tickets, visit the GIVE website.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at 8:00 AM – Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 4:00 PM

David Eccles School of Business – 1655 Campus Center Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84112

The National Service Story

Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)

Civilian Conservation CorpsDuring the Great Depression of the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps which recruited over four million young people and provided billions of dollars worth of support to communities. Through 11 years of the Great Depression, CCC members restored the nation’s parks, revitalized the economy, enabled millions of families to live in dignity, and developed new skills to support themselves and their families. Inspired by the CCC model, over a thousand AmeriCorps* National Civilian Community Corps members are at work today on special urban and rural projects.

Peace Corps

PeaceCorpsIn the 1960s, the call to service came from President John F. Kennedy who challenged Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” This strong spirit of citizenship inspired the Peace Corps. Today, thousands of young Peace Corps volunteers travel far and wide to connect America with the world through peaceful service efforts, such as building schools to promote literacy, helping farmers provide food for the hungry, and setting up hospitals to care for the sick. After returning from overseas, Peace Corps volunteers put their new knowledge to work at home, changing America for the better.

VISTA and the National Senior Service Corps

senior corpsThe 1960s also saw the birth of Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) which organizes efforts to help low-income citizens and communities mobilize efforts to address their challenges. One initiative to engage older Americans in service grew into the National Senior Service Corps, which now includes the Foster Grandparents Program, the Senior Companion Program, and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.


National & Community Service Trust Act

Corporation LogoPresident Bill Clinton sponsored the National and Community Service Trust Act which was passed and signed into law on September 21, 1993. The legislation created a new federal agency, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), to administer federally-funded national service programs. The law created AmeriCorps, which was designed to support local, state, and national organizations across the nation that involve Americans in results-driven community service.

National Service Today

Time MagOn March 31, 2009 the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act was passed. This bill focuses on significantly expanding and improving opportunities for utilizing National Service to meet specific national challenges.  Pressing challenges such as tackling the dropout crisis and strengthening our schools; improving energy efficiency; safeguarding the environment; improving health care in low-income communities; expanding economic opportunities for low-income individuals; and preparing for and responding to disasters and emergencies.

OBAMAKENNDYPresident Obama, reflecting on the passage of the new legislation said “Our work is not finished when I sign this bill into law – it has just begun. It is up to each of us to seize this opportunity, to do our part to lift up our fellow Americans, to realize our own true potential. I call on all Americans to stand up and do what they can to serve their communities, shape our history and enrich both their own lives and the lives of others across this country.”


A Quick Fix for Summertime Boredom

By Rochelle Runge, UServeUtah

Finally, the much anticipated event has arrived: Summer! The kids, initially excited for a break, now spend their days in idle boredom, trying to entertain themselves and pestering you to entertain them.

“Mom, I’m bored, there’s nothing to do!”

“Hey! Dad, can we have something to eat?”

“MOM, can we DO something!”

Does this sound familiar? Are your kids bored and driving you crazy? Are you looking for a way to keep them engaged this summer?

Why not make it a Summer of Service? Research shows that service benefits youth in many ways such as improved academic performance and mental health, and a reduction of high-risk behaviors like drug and alcohol abuse. Volunteering is also a great way for kids to make friends, stay active, learn new skills, and build a strong résumé. Studies show that when people begin volunteering at a young age it develops into a life-long commitment. So why not encourage the youth in your life to make a difference in their community and make it a Summer of Service?  

Kid-Friendly Service Ideas
Getting involved is easy. Check out some of our suggestions below or organize a service project wherever there is a need in your community!

  • Mow a neighbor’s lawn
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter
  • Sort food at a local food bank
  • Pick up litter at a local park
  • Find more ideas visit UServeUtah’s Pinterest Page or our website

Utah Youths Get Involved in their Communities
During previous summers, many kids decided to get involved and serve their communities. Twelve year old Armani from Farr West hosted a lemonade stand, bake sale, BBQ, and raffle to help earn money for backpacks and school supplies for kids in need. She also volunteered at Bridging the Gap and the Alpine Outreach Center. I love to know I’m making a positive difference in the world. I love helping people and making people happy,” stated Armani. Sophie, age 15, from Brigham City read to kids at the library and served food at her local food kitchen. These great volunteers and the many other Summer of Service participants are true community ambassadors of volunteerism. They are young leaders making a real difference and creating a new definition of “summer fun.”

UServeUtah’s Sumer of Service- Extra Incentive
“But what’s in it for me?” your child might ask.

With most things, kids need something tangible to pique their interest.  Not to worry! UServeUtah has got your back. Sign them up for Summer of Service!  In addition to the “helper’s high,” (that feel-good sensation you get from doing acts of service) youth ages 5-25 who participate in the Summer of Service are eligible for monthly prize drawings by tracking their service hours online on our website and sharing their stories, photos, and videos on social media using hashtag #utsos16.

Volunteering doesn’t only benefit the community but also the volunteer. Youth who volunteer 50-100 hours, depending on their age, can earn the Presidential Service Award which is a great addition to any college or scholarship application or résumé. Youth eligible for the Presidential Service Award will receive a personalized certificate, official pin, and a congratulatory letter signed by the President of the United States.

So why not put an end to your kid’s boredom and nagging? Make a difference in the community and win some great prizes like Tuacahn tickets, Boondocks passes, and more. Don’t let your kids suffer from brain drain, keep them involved. Get your kids out there, teach them the value of serving their communities, have fun, and make this a summer of service!  Any type of activity involving service in the community qualifies for Summer of Service.  Learn more how to get involved on our Summer of Service page.

Volunteering and Civic Life in America Report

For the tenth consecutive year, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has ranked Utah first in the U.S. for voluntarism because of Utahns’ generosity and commitment to improve their communities. At a press conference on Tuesday with Governor Gary Herbert the Utah Commission on Service and Volunteerism announced the 2015 Volunteering and Civic Life in America (VCLA) report ranked Utah as the No. 1 volunteering state in the nation for the tenth year running.


Volunteering and Civic Engagement in Utah Trends and Highlights Overview for Utah in for 2014:

  • 46.0% of residents volunteer, ranking them 1st among the 50 states and Washington, DC.
  • 953,990 volunteers
  • 91.7 volunteer hours per capita
  • 193.7 million hours of service
  • $4.5 billion of service contributed
  • 68.0% of residents donate $25 or more to charity

Volunteering and Civic Engagement in Salt Lake City, UT Trends and Highlights Overview for Salt Lake City, UT, in 2014:

  • Ranked #1 in the Nation for Metropolitan-sized cities
  • 37.5% of residents volunteer, ranking them 1st among the 51 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas
  • 295,700 volunteers
  • 78.0 volunteer hours per capita
  • 38.0 million hours of service
  • $1.3 billion of service contributed
  • 66.1% of residents donate $25 or more to charity

Additional data is available on voting, group participation, social connectedness, and other volunteering and civic life indicators at

Read the full press release.

Pledge10 in 2016

Utah has led the nation in volunteerism for 10 consecutive years. We’d like you to join us in celebrating Utah’s continued commitment to service by joining Pledge10 to volunteer beyond what you’re already doing in your community in 2016. We want to make this our biggest and best year of service yet as we reach out to one another, do a little bit of good, and watch the world change.

Here are some examples of ways you can Pledge10:

  1. Pledge nowAs a family, serve 10 neighbors by shoveling their driveway, making them a treat, or fixing a fence.
  2. As a family, serve 10 aging adults by visiting a care facility or elderly neighbor.
  3. As a faith-based or community organization, gather 10 people to complete a service project together.
  4. As a faith-based or community organization, plant at least 10 trees together.
  5. As a school, adopt 10 organizations to benefit throughout the year.
  6. As class, collect 10 pounds of clothing or food per month to donate to food banks and/or homeless shelters.
  7. As a company, commit 10 employees to volunteer for a particular organization or cause during the year.
  8. As a company, offer employees 10 hours per quarter to volunteer for an organization of their choice.
  9. As an individual, commit to volunteer for an organization at least 10 times throughout the year.
  10. As an individual, challenge 10 people to volunteer with you or host a competition to see who can be the first to volunteer 10 times in 2016.

Or develop your own creative pledge idea and share it with us!

Share your service stories on social media! #Pledge10Utah

Family Volunteer Day

Kick off the holiday season with loved ones and an act of kindness on Saturday, Nov. 21 (the weekend before Thanksgiving) to celebrate the 25th Annual Family Volunteer Day, brought to you by generationOn and Disney Friends for Change. Read more