Journalism assistant professor Matt Merkel paints a sign during Day of Service.
As part of its commitment to enhancing the communities of Salt Lake County, nearly 200 Salt Lake Community College students, staff and faculty recently participated in the school’s annual Day of Service. Volunteers donated a combined 450 hours at the day-long event, which gave participants the option to provide service at 9 organizations located throughout the Salt Lake Valley.
For the event, volunteers engaged in a variety of jobs, including meal preparation, reading stories to children and general housekeeping. Service partners included Esperanza Elementary School, Catholic Community Serivces, Maliheh Free Clinic, Dual Immersion Academy, YMCA, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Youthlinc, Clever Octopus and Bad Dog Arts.
The SLCC Day of Service is organized by the college’s Thayne Center for Service & Learning. The Thayne Center provides SLCC students, staff and faculty opportunities throughout the year to engage with the community. Opportunities range from mentoring youth in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program to providing companionship for hospice patients. In 2018, 6,532 members of the SLCC Community contributed more than 34,400 hours of service through the Thayne Center.
“Community is the most important word in our name, and we are proud to serve not only our students but our fellow community members,” said Sean Crossland, director of SLCC’s Thayne Center. “It’s great to work in a place where community is a part of everything we do.”
In addition to providing opportunities through its Thayne Center, SLCC also promotes community service through its Community Engagement Leave (CEL) policy, which gives 3,000 college employees 24 hours of paid leave per year for volunteer activities.