Utah County news

American Fork realtor collecting shoes to donate to Soles4Souls

Ned Chidester, of Weichert Realtors at The Rockies, is hosting a holiday shoe donation drive for Soles4Souls, a nonprofit global social enterprise committed to fighting poverty through the collection and distribution of shoes and clothing.

Donations can be dropped off at Weichert Realtors at The Rockies, located at 359 E. State St. in American Fork.

“The holidays are a time of giving, and with our Soles4Souls shoe drive the goal is to inspire a sense of giving in the community and collect as many pairs of shoes possible to help others who are in need,” Chidester said.

Soles4Souls aims is to eradicate extreme poverty by 2050. Children every day are prevented from attending school and adults are unable to work as walking becomes unbearable, which perpetuates the cycle of poverty. To date, Soles4Souls has collected and distributed more than 26 million pairs of shoes to those in need in 127 countries around the world and all 50 states in the United States.

ScenicView Academy celebrates 15th anniversary with dance for adults with autism

ScenicView Academy, a nonprofit transitional school serving adults with autism and other learning differences, will be holding a “Winter Ball” at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2  to celebrate their 15-year anniversary. The dance is formal and open to autistic adults statewide.

“Individuals on the autism spectrum struggle significantly with social deficits and emotional reciprocity. As a result, navigating social situations can be extremely challenging and, in some cases, terrifying,” said Aaron Ridenour, ACMHC, a psychotherapist at ScenicView. “The Winter Ball will give these individuals a unique chance to build social connections with other adults in an autism-friendly environment.”

Tickets to the Winter Ball are $5, and can be purchased at svacademy.org. Refreshments and pictures will also be available. Participants may bring a date, or attend alone.

Another accomplishment of ScenicView’s 15th year was the debut of “Bridges We Build: The Art of Making Friends”, a pocket-sized social skills guide for adults with disabilities. The guide is available now on Amazon and on the ScenicView Academy website.

America First Credit Union launches annual Skip a Loan Payment program

America First Credit Union, Utah’s largest credit union, invites members to skip a loan payment during the holiday months and simultaneously provide shoes for children in need.

Marking its 22nd year of giving, the annual Skip a Loan Payment program offers members the opportunity to skip monthly loan payments from November 2016 to January 2017 for $25. America First will donate a portion of the fee to purchase shoes and "warm the soles" of children.

America First has helped provide more 1,500 pairs of shoes for children in need through the Skip a Loan Payment program and monetary donations from members.

Children from Brigham City, Utah to Las Vegas, Nevada, will receive new shoes for the holidays, as America First team members present the gift-wrapped shoes to children from 19 schools and service organizations at special holiday events throughout the month of December.

To learn more about donating through the Skip a Loan Payment program, call 1-800-999-3961, visit one of America First’s 120 locations or visit www.americafirst.com.

Shelby Slade is a reporter for the Daily Herald who covers crime and the southern part of Utah County.

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