On Wednesday, Provo-based Nu Skin held its annual Force for Good event, the one day out of the year that the $2.5 billion company dedicates its workforce to projects in the surrounding communities.

While the event takes place in all 50 countries where Nu Skin operates, this year, the company gave back to communities in Utah County by providing meals for families and bed mats for homeless individuals affected by the coronavirus pandemic as well as face shields, masks and school supplies for local children.

“We have a firm belief that when you can do better, you do better in the community where you serve and that serves you,” Nu Skin Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Ruth Todd said. “We have certainly been served by the people of Provo, and we want to give back and be an integral part of life in Utah County.”

Employees at Nu Skin volunteered to complete certain projects at home before dropping off completed donations at various locations across Utah County. Two of those locations were the Alpine School District and Spanish Fork’s Canyon Elementary, a school in the Nebo School District.

At Canyon Elementary, Nu Skin employees dropped off their projects in a drive-thru fashion. Employees provided various items to the school, including puppets, accessibility toys, face shields and masks that are aimed at helping special needs students in the district.

According to Lana Hiskey, communications and community relations administrator for the Nebo School District, there are 250 special needs students in the Spanish Fork area with a larger number of students scattered throughout the district. Hiskey said the donated goods are unique and will greatly benefit their special needs students.

“Anytime we’re working with special needs students, it’s important for them to have different types of toys or learning manipulatives,” she said. “This is a great asset for our students to have something new and different. During this pandemic and this unusual time, the face shields are important because some of them can’t wear face masks.”

Donations were dropped off at Canyon Elementary, but the supplies and toys will be distributed across the district in various special needs classrooms.

Canyon Elementary School Principal Dave Harlan characterized the day as a festive event with balloons and volunteers.

“We are grateful for the donations of masks, all-ability toys, and puppets that will find their way into the hands of those who will appreciate and benefit from them,” Harlan said.

For special needs students and teachers, it is an extremely fragile time given the pandemic and how COVID-19 could impact special needs students.

Hiskey became emotional when talking about how important the donations are, not only to the students but also to the special needs teachers around the district during the pandemic.

“We do worry about all of our teachers and all of our students in the Nebo School District, but we are especially concerned about those that are compromised,” Hiskey said. “We know that those teachers that work with these special needs students are special. They are beyond teachers; they are caregivers, and they want to make sure their students are safe while learning.”

For some students in the Alpine School District, they will be receiving personal protective equipment as a result of the donations from Nu Skin employees.

“Alpine School District participated with Nu Skin today in a great event where their employees were able to connect with the community in providing face shields and other protective equipment for our students,” David Stephenson, the Alpine School District administrator of public relations said in a statement. “We appreciate their efforts and the partnership we have with them and for their kind donations.”

In total, Nu Skin donated over 500 toys and puppets to children with special needs and 3,000 face masks in Utah County. A press release from Nu Skin said their employees served over 5,000 Utahns on Wednesday.

Todd said Nu Skin employees had a sense of joy in helping their community, adding that the donations did as much for their employees as it is doing for those who received them.

“Even though we have to stay socially distanced, I think what this shows is that you can still link arms and link hearts, figuratively, to come together and do things that make a difference,” Todd said.