Many people do not know that KeyBank has a wonderful annual tradition here in Salt Lake called Our Neighbors Make the Difference Day. Each year, it chooses one day to close down all of its branches and send employees out to serve the community. This year, KeyBank decided to make it even bigger than ever with help from United Way of Salt Lake.
On Wednesday, May 13, KeyBank branches across Utah closed and the employees participated in a variety of volunteer projects. One of the main projects was at Kearns Junior High, a United Way of Salt Lake Community School. 63 percent of students in Kearns receive free or reduced-price lunch (an indicator of poverty) and the graduation rate in this area is a mere 66 percent. Because Kearns Junior High is a community school, it is now a place where children and their families can receive basic services so that they can succeed in school. Kandace Barber, the principal of Kearns Junior High, says it best: “Kearns Junior High has become a hub of activity for the larger community. People are receiving services and people’s basic needs are being met at the school. None of it would be possible without our partnership with the United Way of Salt Lake. It has made all the difference.”
KeyBank’s team of volunteers played a role in this process by reading with students and helping them with their homework. KeyBank volunteers also assisted other organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, National Ability Center, Bountiful Community Food Pantry, Utah Food Bank, Camp Kostopulos, Catholic Community Services Food Pantry, the Boys and Girls Club and The Road Home.
All in all, 130 KeyBank volunteers participated in ten volunteer projects across six counties. Thank you, KeyBank, for continuing your Neighbors Make A Difference Day tradition with the help of United Way of Salt Lake!