United Way of Utah County: Day of Caring an example of our community’s kindness
As the sun rose over the mountains and began to warm my face, I let out the deep breath I had been holding. There we were, at the start of a much-anticipated day. For a moment, I took in the scene around me. Community leaders stood at griddles flipping pancakes and welcoming all. Volunteers from companies across Utah County sat together sharing breakfast in anticipation of the day ahead. This group, by the end of the day, will have completed 75 projects at nonprofits and schools, spent 4,200 hundred hours in service and left our corner of the world a little bit brighter.
Twenty-five schools had the thrill of volunteers coming to paint playground games, read with them and teach STEM. On the playgrounds, volunteers had areas sectioned off where they were painting new games. During recess, the kids would gather around to excitedly watch and wait for the paint to dry. With the work done, the kids flocked to these games to give them a try. They ran from game to game exploring with friends and excitedly making plans.
To volunteer is to create connections that leave lasting impacts on our hearts and minds. In a time of increasing loneliness and disconnection, professor and author Brené Brown offers this solution: “Show up for collective moments of joy and pain so we can actually bear witness to inextricable human connection. … We have to catch enough glimpses of people connecting to one another and having fun together that we believe it’s true and possible for all of us.” As we work with, for and alongside each other in pursuit of uplifting our community we prove that it is possible. For me, United Way’s Day of Caring proves it’s possible.