Volunteers come together for service day

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SANDY -- Hundreds of people were at Lone Peak State Park volunteering their time to get it ready for summer. They're part of the reason why Utah leads the nation in service.

Utah leads the nation in service and has been ranked No. 1 in the country for six years. -Utah Commission on Volunteers.

It's part of the weeklong Utah Conference on Service, led by Lt. Gov. Greg Bell. This event is the final phase of the week.

The project was three-fold: pick up trash in the Dimple Dell Wash area, beautify the park and make prep kits for refugee families in the Salt Lake Valley.

Rich Foster of the Utah Department of Health said the kits "contained a blanket, food, water, flashlight, flashlight batteries, those items you need to be able to grab and go in the event of an earthquake."

Those 650 kits will go to some of the neediest families in the valley.

Thursday's volunteers came from all over the state. According to the Utah Commission on Volunteers, our state is No. 1 in the nation for service.

Deseret News:

The Commission says Utahns collectively dedicate an average of 161 million hours of volunteer work per year.

The residents who volunteered this week say it's probably because our state is so family-oriented.

Volunteer Barbara Andersen said, "As parents, you want your community to be the best that you can because you have children and you want them to grow up in a safe place."

On average, Utah's 880,000 volunteers dedicate 161.9 million hours of service per year, worth an estimated $3.3 billion annually. -Utah Commission on Volunteers

"I think volunteering anywhere is worth it at the end of the day to give back to the community that has given us so much, to teach our children that to truly be happy we need to serve," said volunteer Diana Ware.

"We're just people who are community-minded and want to help," Foster said. "When there's a need, we respond."

The rest of the conference included workshops to improve service skills on grant writing, emergency preparedness and using social media.

E-mail: ngonzales@ksl.com


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