For the past three years (2017), weekly, Reach Out And Learn volunteers have received donated bread, from Kneaders Bakery, and distributed it to those in need in communities in Utah.
Reach Out And Learn teamed up with Catholic Community Services to help transition refugees to their new home.
Political unrest and rebel forces in countries where war is waging, displaces families from their homes. Thousands have the opportunity to continue their lives in a foreign land, the United States. In 2012-2013, more than 600 families were brought to Utah. The efforts that facilitate their relocation are Advocacy Groups, governments, and charities. Once resettled, families need a little help to transition to their new environment. Organizations, such as Catholic Community Services, help coordinate volunteers to befriend families who are formerly refugees. Volunteers help families feel the love of “strangers” who are willing to reach out and offer supportive friendship.
Reach Out And Learn is helping women coming out of prison develop skills that will help them be self-sustaining.
Women coming out of prison need tremendous help in learning skills to function well as they return to society. ROL volunteers were involved for a few years in assisting with a Bridges Out of Poverty class taught to women finishing their prison term. Lessons were presented and skills discussed to teach middle class rules and behaviors, increase self worth, and also create and review their plans as they prepare to return to society.
Our volunteers also participated on a Bridges out of Poverty committee headed by Lloyd Pendleton which included members of the LDS church welfare program and other members of the community representing various agencies such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah, People Helping People etc.
The committee discussed ideas and worked to implement activities such as trips to the Utah Symphony, shopping for interview outfits, trips to the hair salon and others. We found great success in preparing these women to gain greater confidence in themselves, to interview well and prepare for greater self-sufficiency.
Reach Out And Learn supports community self-reliance when a disaster occurs.
A neighborhood in Bountiful, Utah, is preparing for natural and man-made disasters, such as an earthquake. Often, when disasters strike, public emergency services such as police, fire, and ambulance services are overwhelmed and unable to meet immediate needs. Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) are designed to prepare and train citizens to be self sustaining by responding to the needs of injured persons in their neighborhoods.
Levi decided to help his neighborhood prepare for disasters by using his Eagle Scout project to gather, purchase, and put together supplies that are essential after a disaster. After visiting with District and Area CERT Coordinators and the local Fire Chief, Levi planned to obtain spine boards and first-aid supplies and place them in strategic locations in four different neighborhoods in the area near his home.
He organized his troop to fund-raise outside a neighborhood grocery store on a busy Saturday shopping day. In one day, shoppers donated nearly $1,000 dollars that were used to purchase four spine boards, triangle bandages, adhesive bandages, antiseptic ointments and washes, cold packs, and fanny packs. First-aid supplies were divided, organized, and placed into the fanny packs, which were attached to the spine boards and delivered to four CERT trained persons who live on four different streets in Levi’s neighborhood.
Community gardens help neighbors be more self-reliant.
A community garden in Bountiful, Utah, helps neighbors grow and share produce. It all stated when someone in the neighborhood noticed a large vacant area adjacent to the City Cemetery. One thing led to another, and an irrigation pipe was installed to bring secondary water to the garden plots.
The area was tilled and divided into sections where various individuals and groups could plant and care for corn, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, squash, melons, peppers, beans, onions, carrots, beets, herbs, and more!
It’s the first of August and urban farmer’s have already harvested many items; squash, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, beans, cabbage, and other delicious vegetables.
I’m looking forward to the melons (cantaloupe, watermelon, and crenshaw)!Changes