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YMCA Community Family Center encourages acts of kindness, receives large donation

Feb 01, 2018 03:08AM ● Published by Carl Fauver

Taylorsville YMCA kids put together their own healthy snacks during their Festival of Kindness. (Joanna Libby)

Gallery: YMCA [5 Images] Click any image to expand.

It’s been a busy winter for the Taylorsville YMCA Community Family Center (4223 Atherton Drive), as the site launched its annual “1,000 Acts of Kindness” program and accepted a $2,500 donation.

The facility — just north of Fremont Elementary School, near 1500 West — primarily serves underprivileged children with before- and after-school programs, along with summer camps and other activities.

“Besides helping kids with their education — and providing other programming, along with meals — our organization is working to teach core values and character,” said YMCA of Northern Utah Development Officer Jill Wood. “The 1,000 Kind Acts goal fits with that effort.”

At the YMCA’s seventh annual Festival of Kindness, kids engaged in a variety of activities, from playing games to making their own snacks. But more importantly, the event also commemorated the successful conclusion of the Community Family Center’s annual effort to encourage students to carry out acts of kindness.

“The YMCA’s four core values of honesty, caring, respect and responsibility are a regular part of daily life at the Y,” Marketing and Events Manager Joe Norwood said in a news release. 

Also at the Festival of Kindness, the YMCA Community Family Center continued its donation drive to benefit the Salt Lake Ronald McDonald House. YMCA students and their families were asked to donate board games, paper towels, cleaning supplies and hygiene products.

“The Ronald McDonald house also asked us for hot cocoa packets, so the kids made those up during the festival,” said YMCA After School Programs Coordinator Joanna Libby. “It gave them another opportunity to feel the value of giving to others.”  

Ronald McDonald Houses are located in 64 countries worldwide, providing places for families to stay while a family member is receiving medical care. The houses have been around since 1974 and served more than 5 million people last year.   

“For a couple of weeks before (the Festival of Kindness), we encouraged our students to write down their acts on heart-shaped pieces of paper,” Libby added. “We reached a total of a thousand between this site and our sites at Redwood Elementary, Fox Hills Elementary and Eisenhower Junior High schools.”

Libby said the kids typically write things such as “I helped my teacher clean her room” or “I helped a friend tie their shoes.”

Meanwhile, a pioneer in the field of commercial equipment sales and rental carried out its own act of kindness for the YMCA Community Family Center as well. 

Headquartered in Las Vegas, Brady Industries employs more than 320 people in 16 locations, including Salt Lake. Starting this year, the company has pledged to donate $80,000 a year to worthwhile organizations.

“Brady is dedicating $20,000 per (quarter) to support nonprofits focused on education, youth programs and more,” company President and CEO Travis Brady said in a news release. “We formed an internal committee to review all (request for funding) submissions and determine the distribution of funds. We are so proud to be supporting these tremendous organizations.”

The new charitable program, called “Brady Shines,” selected the YMCA of Northern Utah as one of eight recipients for its first $20,000 payout. The company is now accepting applications for a second round of donations, at www.bradyshines.org.

Last month, two Brady Industries executives from the company’s Salt Lake office made a formal presentation of the $2,500 award at the YMCA Community Family Center. Kids let out a cheer as Brady General Manager Mark Larsen and Sales Manager Hani Elkebbi made the announcement.

“YMCA relies upon donations like these,” Libby said. “The funding will be put to good use serving our kids.”

 The Taylorsville YMCA employs about 40 people, most of them part time. Besides teaching kids, the facility also serves about 350 meals each day. 

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