Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Utah Thanks Volunteers during National Volunteer Week

SALT LAKE CITY — April 21-27 Utah will join in National Volunteer Week, a nationwide effort to honor and celebrate ordinary people doing extraordinary things to improve communities across the country.  It highlights the enormous contributions that volunteers make every day.

Utah continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to improving communities in a variety of ways through service and volunteerism, ranking #1 in the nation for volunteering seven years running by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The most recent data shows more than 837,000 volunteers in Utah served approximately 144 million total hours, which is the equivalent of over 69,000 full-time employees.

“We as Utahns know through volunteering, we can meet challenges and accomplish goals, touching lives along the way,” said Utah Commission on Service and Volunteerism Executive Director LaDawn Stoddard. “National Volunteer Week is a great opportunity to recognize and celebrate the volunteers that are making a difference, strengthening the lives of individuals, organizations, and communities.”

The total estimated economic value of volunteer service in Utah was over $3.1 billion based on the Independent Sector’s annual estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour, which is  $21.79.

Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week focuses national attention on the impact and power of volunteerism and service as an integral aspect of our civic leadership. The week draws the support and endorsement of the President and Congress, governors, mayors and municipal leaders, as well as corporate and community groups across the country.

This years theme “Celebrate Service” honors individuals who take action and solve significant problems in their communities. Since our nation's founding, volunteers have been the source of action and change. Two hundred thirty five years later, their energy continues to move our country forward.  Advances in technology and social networking make volunteering today more simple than ever.

The Commission on Service and Volunteerism encourages everyone to find a way to say “Thank You” to the volunteers that are making a difference in Utah communities every day.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Utah Commission on Volunteers Receives State Farm® Lead Agency Designation to Engage Utah’s Youth in Large-Scale Projects for Global Youth Service Day, April 26-28, 2013

The Utah Commission on Volunteers Receives State Farm® Lead Agency Designation to Engage Utah’s Youth in Large-Scale Projects for Global Youth Service Day, April 26-28, 2013

Designation includes $2,000 grant for community improvement through youth-led service

Salt Lake City, UT YS (Youth Service America) announces the Utah Commission on Volunteers will serve as a State Farm Lead Agency, organizing Utah’s young people to lead projects that improve their communities. As a State Farm Lead Agency, the Utah Commission on Volunteers receives a $2,000 grant, as well as ongoing training and expert consulting, to develop high-visibility, youth-led community service projects in the lead-up to Global Youth Service Day (GYSD), April 26-28, 2013. The Utah Commission on Volunteers will sub grant these funds to local organizations who will engage in projects throughout the state.

Projects in the past included environmental cleanup and restoration efforts, collecting and sorting donated supplies for teen refugees, and preparing educational games, hygiene kits, and other supplies for schools in Uganda.

Project planning begins on Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service (January 21, 2013), and projects culminate on Global Youth Service Day, the world’s largest service event. As a State Farm Lead Agency, these local organizations will engage at least 600 youth in their GYSD events.

Applications for sub grants will be available on volunteers.utah/gov beginning January 25, 2013 and will close on February 21, 2013.

Now in its 25th year, GYSD reaches more than one million young people via partnerships with schools, community groups and faith-based organizations. Service projects will occur in more than 100 countries and will address community needs such as healthy living, childhood hunger, and environmental conservation.

“We are thrilled Utah is stepping up to lead Global Youth Service Day activities throughout the region,” said Steven A. Culbertson, president and CEO of YSA. “Every youth should have the opportunity to make a difference.”

  Global Youth Service Day helps to strengthen, educate, and create safer communities and we feel confident that young people will be at the forefront of these efforts,” said Kathy Payne, senior director of Education Leadership at State Farm.

 The Utah Commission on Volunteers is one of 100 recipients of the State Farm Lead Agency grant, which was available to organizations in the United State and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Ontario and New Brunswick. In partnership with YSA, State Farm awarded a total of $200,000 in Lead Agency grants to support youth-led projects designed to improve communities.


Celebrating 25 years of youth changing the world, YSA (Youth Service America) improves communities by increasing the number and diversity of young people serving in substantive roles. Through campaigns such as Global Youth Service Day and Semester of Service; YSA Grants and awards programs; and resources and training opportunities, YSA activates millions of young people each year. Working with—and on behalf of—youth, adult mentors, organizations and schools, YSA promotes a global culture of engaged youth committed to a lifetime of community action, learning, leadership, and achievement. and

State Farm® insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S., is the leading insurer of watercraft and is also a leading insurer in Canada. State Farm's 17,700 agents and more than 67,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts – almost 79 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 34 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, visit® or in Canada,

About the Utah Commission on Volunteers

The Utah Commission on Volunteers (UCOV) is the state’s central coordinating body for service and volunteerism.  The Commission is responsible for developing, implementing, and sustaining a vision and culture of civic engagement and national and community service within the state. UCOV does this through; promoting volunteerism; administering National Service programs; connecting people with opportunities to serve; building organizational capacity for effective volunteer engagement and; participating in strategic initiatives that mobilize volunteers to meet local needs.  For more information, please visit


Media Information

 Local Contact:

Katie Barlow

Utah Commission on Volunteers



National Media Contact:

Michelle Pendoley, Communications Director

YSA (Youth Service America) | Global Youth Service Day


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lt. Governor Bell Announces New Federal Report Ranking

View our Media Kits page for additional materials.

Salt Lake City - Lt. Governor Greg Bell, the Utah Commission on Volunteers and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, in conjunction with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) announce the 2012 Volunteering and Civic Life in America (VCLA) report ranking Utah as the #1 volunteering state in the nation for the 7th year running.
Volunteers in Utah demonstrated their commitment to improving their communities in a variety of ways last year and again earned the #1 ranking among the 50 states, according to the Volunteering and Civic Life in America (VCLA) report released yesterday.  More than 837,000 volunteers served approximately 144 million total hours, which is the equivalent of over 69,000 full-time employees.
“Involved citizens do so much to make our communities stronger,” said Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell, who chairs the Utah Commission on Volunteers.  “People here in Utah take pride in helping their neighbors and dedicating their time to address critical issues.  Our residents are committed to strengthening our state and our nation through service to others.”
The VCLA data is part of the most comprehensive study of volunteering and civic engagement across the country. The annual report is issued by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) as part of its efforts to expand the reach and impact of America’s volunteers, in partnership with the National Council on Citizenship, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Bureau for Labor Statistics.
“This report quantifies what we already know about Utahns—that they are passionate about reaching out to their neighbors and in their communities,” said LaDawn Stoddard, Executive Director with the Utah Commission on Volunteers. “Finding ways to help others is ingrained in our culture and I hope Utahns will continue to dedicate themselves to this high level of service.”
Research from the VCLA 2012 report ranks Utah as the #1 volunteering state in the nation with 40.9% of adults volunteering. This volunteering rate is significantly above the national average of 26.8%. In addition to being ranked the #1 volunteering state in the nation, Utah ranked #1 in nine other categories.
The spirit of Utah's volunteerism is exemplified in individual cities also.  As well as ranking first among all 50 states, the report also ranks the nation’s largest cities and metropolitan areas for their volunteering and civic engagement rates. The city of Provo leads the nation with the highest volunteer rate in the country at 58.5%.  Ogden ranked 2nd overall and Salt Lake City ranked 4th in the metropolitan cities category.  The complete report can be accessed at
 “All told, the total estimated economic value of volunteer service in Utah was about $3.7 billion based on the Independent Sector’s annual estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour, which was $21.79 in 2011,” said Spencer Eccles, Governor’s Office of Economic Development Executive Director. “Although the last few years have been a time of economic hardship, volunteering in Utah continues to be strong, providing positive tangible and intangible economic benefits.  The effects on both our state and individuals should not be underestimated.”
As volunteers fill critical voids in their community’s infrastructure, state and local leaders increasingly recognize the key role they play in addressing economic and social challenges at this time of fiscal constraint.  Governors work through state service commissions and local organizations to promote volunteerism and other resources to meet a range of state needs.

View our Media Kits page for additional materials.
About the VCLA Report
The Volunteering and Civic Life In America report is a joint effort of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the National Conference on Citizenship, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Bureau for Labor Statistics to collect volunteering data annually through the Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS is a monthly survey of about 60,000 households, (approximately 100,000 adults) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Selected supplements collect data on the volunteering and civic activities of Americans age 16 and older for volunteering and 18 and older for the civic supplement. Volunteers are considered individuals who performed unpaid volunteer activities through or for an organization.  The report includes information for all 50 states, Washington, D.C., more than 50 major metropolitan areas, and more than 140 other cities.  Complete report available at

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Executive Director Appointed for the Utah Commission on Volunteers

[Salt Lake City] – Lt. Governor Greg Bell, Chair of the Commission on Volunteers and the Department of Heritage and Arts announced today the appointment of LaDawn W. Stoddard as Executive Director of the Utah Commission on Volunteers.

"With her extensive experience, deep commitment and understanding of the complexities of National Service initiatives and volunteerism, LaDawn Stoddard is truly an asset to the State of Utah and the Commission on Volunteers," said Utah Lt. Governor Greg Bell.

Stoddard will be responsible for the day to day operations of the Utah Commission on Volunteers and, together with the governor-appointed Commission comprised of individuals representing all sectors of Utah, will help to set vision and strategy for accomplishing the Commission’s purposes.

 With a background in finance, Stoddard began working for the Commission in 2004 as the Grants Officer and then went on to fill the role of Development Director.  In 2007 she became the Utah State National Service program manager, working closely with numerous community organizations across the state and has recently served as the interim executive director.  She has served on numerous boards and volunteers committees at both the national and local level and has been personally engaged in volunteering from a very young age. 

As a resident of Wasatch County, she has a profound appreciation for the varied landscape in Utah, but finds her greatest appreciation for the state in its spirit of volunteerism. “Volunteers provide a valuable resource to Utah communities through non-profit and faith-based organizations as well as local and state agencies,” Stoddard said. “I feel honored to accept this position and am excited to collaborate with those individuals and groups who are working to help make Utah a better place.”

 “LaDawn Stoddard is the clear choice for the Utah Commission on Volunteers as this organization takes on new initiatives and focus,” said Julie Fisher, Executive Director of the Department of Heritage and Arts. “Stoddard’s finance background, and National Service expertise will be instrumental in fulfilling the Commissions mission of improving communities through service and volunteering.”

Monday, September 24, 2012

Lt. Governor Bell Honors Utah’s Top Youth Volunteers

Summer of Service Youth Winners Receive Private Luncheon and Presidential Service Award

[Salt Lake City] – In recognition of receiving the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, Lt. Governor Greg Bell and the Utah Commission on Volunteers are honoring three outstanding youth on September 27th, 2012 with a private luncheon held in their honor. The awardees contributed the most hours of volunteer service in their age category between June 1 and August 31 as part of the Utah Summer of Service campaign. This year hundreds of youth volunteers participated throughout the state in the program and over 10,000 hours were totaled.

Sierra, Jory Peppelaar, and Becky Payne, recorded the most service hours in their age categories over the past three months, earning both a Presidential Service Award and lunch with Lt. Governor Bell.

Sierra, age 12 from Ogden, volunteered over 400 hours at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. As tasks were taught and assigned to Sierra, such as species identification, food preparation, weighing diets, and charting food intake, she would work diligently to master them and want to learn more. 

Jory Peppelaar, age 17 from Richfield, volunteered almost 300 hours at various events in Utah and throughout the world. Jory spent time teaching kids all over Utah with 4-H, assisting people with muscular dystrophy and even participated in humanitarian work in Cambodia.

“Simple acts of service can be the most rewarding,” Peppelaar said. “Each was a rewarding experience that I wouldn’t change for the world. Even though I took on some big projects, some of the greatest rewards were just getting to know the people I served and seeing the change I could make for a child or a community.”

Becky Payne age 24 from Roy, spent her summer volunteering over 250 hours at the Living Planet Aquarium. Some of Becky’s duties included prepping and feeding fish and other animals, keeping systems clean. This past summer Becky had the opportunity to design and construct her own system.

What started out as a curiosity about Zoology and an opportunity for networking ended up in a realization that Payne wanted to pursue a career in this line of work.

“After doing it for my first summer I fell in love with the job and the work,” Payne said.

“Volunteering is at the heart and soul of Utahns from a young age, as evidenced by these volunteers,” says Allie Dixon, Youth Engagement Chair for the Commission.  “We hope their examples serve as inspiration for all of us to increase our level of volunteerism in our local communities no matter what our age may be.”

In addition to the three top volunteers, all volunteers ages 5 to 25 who logged minimum hour requirements for their age group were honored with a Presidential Service Award and Recognition Pin.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Utah Residents Mark 11th Anniversary of 9/11 by Serving Others

Volunteers across the state serve as part of a National Day of Service

[Salt Lake City] – The September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance is the culmination of an effort originally launched in 2002 by 9/11 family members and support groups, who worked to establish the charitable service day as a forward-looking way to honor 9/11 victims, survivors, and others who rose up in service in response to the attacks. Individuals are encouraged to take this opportunity to honor the memory of 9/11 by joining in service projects taking place in their communities.

The Utah Commission on Volunteers is working with four organizations throughout the state to provide opportunities for Utah residents to serve on this year’s 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance. “In commemoration of this event, Utahns across the state and people throughout the country will be serving in the week leading up to and culminating on September 11, 2012,” said LaDawn Stoddard at the Utah Commission on Volunteers.  “There are so many activities taking place throughout the state, and so many opportunities, that everyone can participate on some level.”

To learn more about participating in a variety of projects and events in commemoration of 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance, please visit 

For interview and photo opportunities, please contact:

·               Sherilee Griffiths, Cache Valley Volunteer Center, 435-770-0748 or 435-753-1745

·               Gail Jesson, Salt Lake Community College Thayne Center, 801-957-4689

·               Mike Moon, Weber State Community Involvement Center, 801-626-7737

·               Summer Valente, United Way of Utah County, 801-374-2588


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Availability of AmeriCorps State Funding for FY2013-2014

(Salt Lake City) The Utah Commission on Volunteers announces the availability of AmeriCorps State funding for Program Year 2013 – 2014 to eligible organizations in Utah. The purpose of these grants is to establish AmeriCorps programs in local communities focusing on needs in the key objective areas of education, healthy futures, environmental stewardship, veterans, economic opportunity, and disaster services.

AmeriCorps is a national service network that provides full- and less than full-time opportunities for participants, to serve their communities and build the capacity of nonprofit organizations to meet local environmental, educational, public safety, homeland security, or other human needs. Within these issue areas, programs may submit proposals that address specific problems of local communities. Program operation for this funding cycle will begin in fall 2013.

The application process will be explained in detail in mandatory AmeriCorps Funding Technical Assistance Meetings. Those interested in applying must attend one meeting held September 25-October 5 at locations throughout the state. For more information about meeting locations and dates, please visit

In order to maximize the impact of the investment in national service in Utah, the Commission on Volunteers is seeking to fund programs that can demonstrate community impact and solve community problems through an evidence-based approach (e.g. performance data, research, theory of change).

 “AmeriCorps programs are improving the lives of citizens and making a powerful impact on the toughest challenges facing our state,” said LaDawn Stoddard, at the Utah Commission on Volunteers. “AmeriCorps members and the volunteers they manage are an indispensable resource to nonprofit and government leaders at a time of social need and fiscal constraint.”

The national public/private partnership supporting AmeriCorps is the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). CNCS receives AmeriCorps program funding from Congress and awards funding to state service commissions and organizations, such as the Utah Commission on Volunteers, to grant and oversee AmeriCorps programs in their state.

For additional information or technical assistance regarding this Notice of Funding Availability, please contact LaDawn Stoddard at or 801-715-6716.