Community Impact Team LIVING UNITED

By Jennifer Sanchez

Community Collaborations Director

LIVING UNITED isn’t just something that we say at UWSL, employees really try to make an effort to LIVE UNITED on a daily basis. Recently, I had a life changing experience that truly showed me how dedicated the team I work with is to our motto.

Independent, busy woman used to describe me – until I lost the use of my leg.

I broke my leg and had my car destroyed in an accident on June 29. Luckily, police said, I was wearing my seat belt and survived. However, I had to learn how to live my life using a leg brace and crutches.

No wearing high heels. No walking while carrying my Coach purse and iced green tea. No running to the gym. No dancing. No walking stairs at home to get to my bedroom or basement. Everything became a daily challenge.

My lowest point: I was so thirsty, but too far from a water fountain and there was no one is sight to help me. So, I decided to carry my cup in my mouth to go get a drink using my crutches. On my way back, someone walked by me without asking to help get the cup from my mouth.

My highest point: Being a member of the awesome Community Impact Department at United Way of Salt Lake.

The day after my accident, several of my team members brought me lunch. Since I don’t have any family members in Utah, I was home alone. They stayed and chatted with me. Then, they returned the next day with my boss, Bill Crim, UWSL Vice President for Community Impact and Public Policy. I was so surprised and delighted they took time from their busy schedules to visit me.

Thanks to April Harrison, Elizabeth Garbe, Ashley Hillman, Lynn Riling, Linda Turkington, Agnes Chiao and Bill for helping me through one of the toughest times in my life.

When I was back at the office, they filled up my Longhorn plastic cup with water. They heated up my lunch. They walked to the printer for me. And they wheeled me on a chair back to my desk, when I was too tired to use my crutches. (I was on crutches for eight weeks).

Lynn, her husband, and Ashley even volunteered on a weekend to help move my bedroom from the second floor to the first floor, so I could sleep on my own bed. That was such a blessing.

My team members were my arms and leg when I couldn’t use them. They just don’t say United Way’s famous motto — they LIVE UNITED!

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