Authored by Carol Hendrycks, Youth Services Communications Manager
The Angel Tree campaign is always a great way to usher in the holiday season and heighten our awareness of those in need. We appreciate Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams coming to kick-off the event in November. It’s been a great holiday season here at Salt Lake County Youth Services. Thank you to so many generous donors bringing needed items for our teens on campus, coming to sort the donations and wrap. It’s a wonderful time of year seeing the compassion and generosity of our community, board members, county agency partners and county employees give to abused and neglected children and teens. Know that these donations not only put a smile on a youth’s face for Christmas but items supplied during this drive support teens and their families for the next 6 months. We could not sustain serving over 9000 youth without outside assistance. It is critical for Youth Services and its 15 programs to receive these donations to maintain the level of service we provide to youth.
We’d to thank to our ShelterKids nonprofit board for their dedication in supporting this drive and the mission of helping youth. Their collective charitable nature is remarkable. Throughout the year they have attended community service days and cheered on volunteers for campus cleanup, they’ve held their own back to school clothing drive, they supply extra hygiene products, hold our golf fundraiser in June, donate their time and company products to the kids and hold a genuine concern for the well-being of the youth we serve. The board does not have a big membership but they are mighty in the service and determination in overseeing that Youth Services’ clients are treated with dignity and supplied with basic needs and beyond to ensure the youth thrive during their stay here and upon release. Their ambitious drive to support the recreation activities that offer mentoring and experiences to youth who may not otherwise have an opportunity to engage in things like a day of skiing, mountain climbing, a STEM project or even a trip to a museum are now possible due to this boards goodwill. We appreciate and applaud their efforts and thank them for making great things possible for underserved youth and families.
And our board members are all volunteers, but we also cannot overlook having an attitude of gratitude to the several 100 community volunteers that made this holiday season, year-round donations and activities possible. From a one-time individual volunteer to groups of ongoing volunteers such as the Reach program, Youth Services would not be able to hold a lovely holiday dinner where youth were provided special formal clothing for a banquet dinner at Hotel Monaco and enjoy an evening of merriment.
And thank you to Gina Percival, our new volunteer coordinator for learning the ropes and organizing a huge effort for Youth Services holiday drive. She did a great job in helping to schedule and orchestrate volunteers leading up to and through the holidays. And staff member Maria Drummond our Recreation Therapist, our partnership with Christmas Box International and their staff for coordinating donation efforts with Youth Services. And thank you to Youth Services staff in helping to organize and supervise holiday activities on and off campus.
These are so many compassionate volunteers and staff that gave of their time to help provide service, donations and mentoring to youth throughout all of our programs for the holidays. Here are just a few volunteers and staff we kindly thank for making the holidays so special for youth and families:
• Jeana Lanktree- Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
• Ashley Barney
• Kristine Satchwells – LDS Church
• Schyler Jolley
• Abigail McCarthy
• Angela Gilbert and Marsha Saby – Reach Program
• Melanie Willey
• Salt Lake County Mayor’s office and county employees
• Katy Smith-Gish – SLCo COY Youth Government Mayor
• Jasmine Petrell
• Sandy Police Department, K-9 Unit,
• Tom Middlen, Willie Salas, Dean Mednick/Guitar Group
• Wasatch Service Branch
• Hotel Monaco
• Arrowhead Stables
• Robert Call, as part of his ongoing Grilling Program made possible by Traeger Grill’s
• Shelley Tripp and Family
• Ben and Tamarra Banks/Wasatch Service Branch
• Eddie Ballesteros and family
• Jeff Smith/Chelsea Kilpack and employees – Alliance Health/ShelterKids
• Janine Gardner/FLSmidth Corp/ShetlerKids
• Westech/ShelterKids Member
• Good Shepard Lutheran Church
• Skyline High School Student Body Officers and Key Club Members
• Eastridge 3rd Ward
• SLCO Criminal Justice
• Bel, Connie, Ricky and Serena /Youth Services afterschool program
• June and Pat Adams
• Salt Lake County Libraries: S Jordan, Millcreek, W Jordan, Magna, Herriman
We hope our volunteers and staff continue with these kindnesses throughout the year. We welcome you to invite other community members to come and participate to experience the personal rewards in helping children, youth and families. On behalf of Salt Lake County Youth Services thank you for making the holidays and the year bright and productive for youth. You and your work to support our agency are appreciated! We look forward to seeing in 2017!