Utah Department of Corrections (UDC) Pre-Service Academy Cadets spent the day volunteering with Utah Community Action (UCA) and its Head Start program as a way to give back to the local community.
The 19 cadets saved the program 76 combined personnel hours by cleaning up garbage, doing yard work, securing and performing maintenance on playgrounds and painting four buildings at two different locations in underprivileged areas of Salt Lake City. This is the first volunteer opportunity UCA organized with the UDC Cadets, and the academy has plans to continue working throughout the year to build a relationship with the communities and give back to children and families in need.
“Having the Cadets volunteer their time frees up resources that we can use towards the Head Start program,” said Dreu Hudson, Volunteer Coordinator with UCA. “We are very excited to not only have them here today, but planning future partnerships. The Cadets will be a breath of fresh air that the community needs.”
UCA, formerly known as Salt Lake Community Action Program, has 112 classrooms throughout Salt Lake and Tooele counties. In 2017, UCA’s Head Start program served over 2,200 children. The mission of Utah Community Action is to empower individuals, strengthen families and build communities through self-sufficiency and education programs.
“Utah Community Action is the state’s only resource for providing a continuum of care that begins with solving immediate challenges,” said Dreu Hudson, Volunteer Coordinator with UCA. “It continues with programs and services that empower, educate and inspire individuals and families to be self-sufficient and stop the cycle of poverty.”
The Federal Government requires that Head Start programs generate 20 percent of their grant value from in-kind donations within the communities they serve in order to continue receiving funds for their programs.
UCA also has five other programs to assist with breaking the cycle of poverty. Those programs include, HEAT (helping keep the heat on in your home), Weatherization, Nutrition, Adult Education, and Case Management & Housing.
- Public Information Office, July 2017