Gayle Linford has served over 40 years as a Friends of Sight volunteer.
“We’ve been infected with this idea that love is an emotion only felt between two people. But love is universal. An energy. A contagious force. A gift. . . . To be grateful, to be hopeful, to be brave, to be forgiving, to be proud, is to love.” – A.R. Lucas
During this month of love we are celebrating the contagious force of our neighborhood volunteers. They keep our communities thriving and our schools running. We’d like you to meet two of the many outstanding volunteers making a difference in the Yalecrest neighborhood.
Volunteer Coordinator at Whittier Elementary
Carolyn Devries has been placing adult volunteers in Whittier classrooms for the last 14 years. What started as a church assignment to serve as a literacy specialist, has become a near full-time job. She coordinates as many as 65 weekly, one-hour volunteers and works closely with teachers to identify their needs: from reading with children to playing math games. Carolyn loves to volunteer, and lives by this mantra, “If you want to live, go be alive—be alive to live!” Contact us if you would like to volunteer with Carolyn at Whittier Elementary.
Friends for Sight
Gayle Linford has served over 40 years as a volunteer and on the Board of Directors of Friends for Sight. Gayle’s mother was commissioned by the National Society to Prevent Blindness during WW2 days to screen children for lazy eye blindness. At that point in time, nearly 4% of potential soldiers were partially blind from this preventable condition. She organized volunteers through the National Society to test the vision of kindergarten-age children in Salt Lake City.
Gayle follows in the footsteps of her mother and continues to carry the torch for vision awareness and screening. She coordinates and trains around 70 volunteers a year to run vision testing in private and public pre- and elementary schools. Reach out to Gayle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-403-5989 for more information. Friends for Sight is currently accepting volunteers willing to give between 1-5 hours a week.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
This Valentines Day, we challenge you to give back to a community that gives to you and become a volunteer! A good place to start is wherever your interests lie. If you have children, involve yourself in your school’s PTA or school community council. Find the nearest Boy Scout troop at beascout.scouting.org or Girl Scout troop at joingirlscouts.org. Many schools will also have community giving programs, like Clayton’s Family to Family Refugee Program and East High’s Student and Family Support.
Another option is to search for community nonprofits near where you live. Greatnonprofits.org can search nearby non profit organizations by zip code. The Lowell Bennion Community Service Center at the University of Utah fosters lifelong service opportunities and civic engagement for students and citizens alike. Or you can always volunteer on our own neighborhood board, the Yalecrest Community Council.