|Photo taken by Tom Smart, Deseret News|
Every year Salt Lake County Volunteer Services presents its annual report to the Salt Lake County Council. With Utah being the number one state in the nation for volunteering (nine years running), Salt Lake County relies heavily on volunteers for everything from cleaning up invasive species along the Jordan River to helping out with Meals on Wheels.
Salt Lake County offers residents 70 different programs and 100 boards and commissions on which to serve. You can find more information about how to serve on one of those boards here. On just those programs, boards, and commissions, over 23,800 people volunteered their time and talents. Those 23,800 people spent over 719,700 hours volunteering! That’s the equivalent of about 346 full time county employees and a savings of $16,625,539.
While these numbers are fantastic, the number of volunteers is slightly declining in Salt Lake County, following a nation-wide trend. The “baby-boomer” generation is moving from a position of assisting others to needing assistance. Because baby-boomers were such a key source of volunteers, we are in need of younger generations to step in and replace the aging generation. Volunteering offers the to learn a new skill, add additional meaning and purpose, perform a higher good, and expand personal horizons. To make a difference in our community visit the Salt Lake County Volunteer Services website at www.slco.org/volunteer.