As one of the staff photographers, I often have a fellow staff member stop by my desk and ask me to tag along with them on a tour or event to shoot a few pictures. It happens all the time so often I’m not exactly sure where I’m going and know very little about what is happening. I just show up with my camera! This morning I had the chance to join Mayor Peter Corroon as he toured Kearn’s Jr. High. It was great to be able to see a fantastic collective impact partnership in action!
The Mobile Health Clinic was in the parking lot, seeing to the physical needs of children and their families. Inside the school there was a station was set up for eye exams. And in the Community Learning Center there was an English class in session for parents. It was clearly evident that United Way Neighborhood Centers are the hubs of the communities they serve, creating a web of support surrounding entire families.
When we peeked in on the English skills class, Mayor Corroon was greeted so warmly from every parent in the classroom. When he got up to speak, the entire room was shocked as he addressed the parents in their native language of Spanish. I wish you all could have seen the joy on their face to see that the Mayor was taking the time to learn their language, and understood the difficulty each of them faced in the journey to integrate into American culture. Several parents had written him letters and read them to him in order to practice their English. It was truly a touching moment.
I couldn’t help but think how many people and partners were making this moment possible. People often ask me what we do at United Way of Salt Lake. Well, this is what we do. We bring people together. We bring partners together in spaces like schools so that parents can get education and health assistance. We ask companies and volunteers to get involved in order to help kids succeed in school. There are lots of fancy words and deep philosophies that could explain this all, but simply put… we bring people together, so that our communities can be a great place for kids and families. And ultimately, isn’t that what we all want!
I really encourage you to join us, there is space for everyone! Whatever your skill or passion, we need you to help us make this community a better place. And you know, together we really can do more than any one person or organization can do alone!