During the months of November and December, United Way of Salt Lake hosts dozens of holiday volunteer projects that benefit the kids and families in our community. Many of these opportunities take place at UWSL community schools. This year, 1-800 Contacts volunteered to host a holiday party for the students in the afterschool program at Oquirrh Hills Elementary School, a Title I community school.
Oquirrh Hills Elementary, like all community schools, is a neighborhood center that provides resources for its students and their families. Eighty percent of the students at Oquirrh Hills are eligible for free or reduced price lunch, which indicates the high level of need for additional resources to ensure that students have their basic needs met. Promise Partners provide students and their families with resources such as health, vision, and dental services, as well as academic resources like reading and tutoring programs and before and afterschool programming.
The students at Oquirrh Hills Elementary loved making friends with the volunteers, and had a tremendous amount of fun participating in the games and activities that 1-800 Contacts planned for the party! As we all know, giving our time to volunteer during the holidays, not to mention throughout the year, is a meaningful way to make an impact in the lives of students and those who need it most in our community.
Maribel Rodriguez, the UWSL Community School Director at Oquirrh Hills, is a full time United Way staff member who works to coordinate the many programs and resources provided by UWSL and our partners at the school. She got to experience firsthand the excitement leading up to the party and how incredibly successful it was!
The Oquirrh Hills Elementary after school program with The Boys and Girls Club, was buzzing with anticipation of the big holiday party set for Friday, December 16th. Nobody could prepare the kids and/or school volunteers for the incredible activities and gifts 1800-Contacts had in store.
Over 100 kids from the Boys and Girls Club afterschool program participated in this holiday party with the support of the amazing volunteers of 1800-Contacts. The kids went through four stations: Cookie decorating, holiday bingo, Christmas crafting, and Christmas mad libs. All of this was possible because of the generous support of 1800-Contacts. As the kids and volunteers participated through the stations, there was a feeling of kindness and love throughout. The kids were already really happy with the activity stations they had run through, and most hadn’t expected the gifts so generously provided by our volunteers at 1800-Contacts. As the kids unwrapped their gifts, you could see the illuminated smiles grow wider and their voices were full of wonderment and happiness.
Our kids at Oquirrh Hills Elementary School were able to enjoy, and be a part of this amazing day, thanks to the generous support of 1800-Contacts. Our kids will never forget their 2016 Holiday Party and/or the generosity of those volunteers who engaged and celebrated with them!