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U of U Staff Give of Themselves

September 4, 2002 — Fifty-five University of Utah staff members will give their time and labor Thursday, Sept. 5, as they take part in the U’s eighth annual Day of Caring, a day of community service that will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Association, American Diabetes Association, Guadalupe School, Special Populations Learning Outdoor Recreation and Education (SPLORE) program and the Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC) of Salt Lake.

Ralph Green, maintenance specialist at the University Student Apartments, participated in last year’s Day of Caring. Because he enjoyed the work so much, he wanted to use his expertise to help out again this year. Green has assembled a crew of 14 skilled staff members-plumbers, electricians, painters and others-to make major repairs on a house rented by a single mother of seven children. He and his crew will spend the day painting, repairing screens and fences, replacing toilets, fixing a shower, replacing bathroom floor tiles, hanging new doors, cleaning up the yard and doing whatever else needs to be done. Several local companies have donated supplies for the project and the U is donating the window screens.

Other Day of Caring volunteers will paddle down the Jordan River and, as SPLORE volunteers, clean up trash along the way; help file and stuff envelopes in preparation for the upcoming Diabetes Walk; and, at the Guadalupe School, help children create handmade books to be given to homeless youth.

The University will kick off the Day of Caring projects with a breakfast for the volunteers Thursday morning, from 8 until 8:45 a.m., on the Union Patio, where they will receive T-shirts and assignments.

“The Day of Caring is the heart and spirit of what giving is all about,” notes Carolyn Hebert, administrative assistant to the vice president for student affairs and one of the organizers of the event. “The volunteers give time, which is one of the most important things. We have the same volunteers each year along with new ones.”

On Thursday, in connection with the Day of Caring, the University will also launch its annual Campaign for Our Community, the U’s charitable giving campaign for faculty and staff that will benefit the United Way of the Great Salt Lake Area, Community Shares/Utah and Community Health Charities for Utah. Those who contribute specify to which agencies they would like donate. Last year’s effort raised nearly $320,000 for the three organizations. This year’s goal is to make every University faculty and staff member aware of the project.