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Provo City staff share with community through charitable giving | News, Sports, Jobs

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Courtesy Provo city

From left: Tara Riddle, Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi, Kat Lindford and Tabitha Meyer volunteer at Community Actions Services and Food Bank. Provo Charitable Giving grew by more that 30% in 2022.

It’s not uncommon to see Provo City employees working on the city’s rooftop garden during a lunch break or after work. When harvested, food from the garden was taken to the Community Action Services and Food bank.

For more than 35 years, Provo City employees have participated in a host of annual charitable giving campaigns while donating their personal time to acts of service. Last year, more than any other year, the generosity and cumulative collections from city employees proved record-breaking, according to spokesperson Nicole Martin.

Provo City’s annual food drive was done online this year with only monetary donations, bringing in an equivalent of 34,552 lbs. of food for Community Action Services and Food Bank. The effort continues to grow each year through department competitions according to Tara Riddle, a Provo City employee who helps manage the yearly program.

“Each department wants the bragging rights that come with winning the coveted ‘Golden Can Award,’ awarded to the department earning the greatest amount per employee,” Riddle said.

The 2022 award went to the Legal Department, collecting 176 lbs. per employee.

Collectively, Provo employees donated a total of $34,434.54 to support local charitable organizations which include various health organizations, United Way agencies and Community Action Services and Food Bank. Riddle added that participation was up 37% in 2022.

“There was an increase of over $10,400 donated from last year, which is a 30% increase,” she said.

“I’m proud our city employees voluntarily choose to give back to the community, especially during tough times,” Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi said. “Provo has the highest rate of charitable giving (by far), as well as the highest number of residents who report volunteering for local organizations.”

Included in that donation total were several targeted fundraisers held by different departments:

  • The Fire Department collected funds sufficient to offer a Sub for Santa for two families.
  • Police held their annual “No Shave November” where officers can pay a fee, allowing them to grow a beard during the month. Those funds went towards nutritional packs that are dispersed by Community Action Services and Food Bank to local schools.
  • The Police Department, through the Police Mutual Aid Fundraiser, provided money for several Wasatch Behavioral programs including the Grand Families program which provides support to children and The Giving Tree for adult clients. They were able to donate Christmas toys for 71 children along with clothing, bedding and necessities for 20 adult clients.
  • Public Works collected funds to support a fellow employee battling cancer.
  • The Power Department held an auction with proceeds supporting “Just for Kids.”

“Employees are encouraged to find organizations that address issues they are passionate about,” Riddle said. “Employees who are passionate about finding resolutions to the housing crisis may consider donating towards Habitat for Humanity of Utah County. Employees who want to help individuals who are experiencing instability in providing food for their family may consider donating towards Community Action Services and Food Bank.”

Promoting employee giving and encouraging community involvement gives employees an opportunity to make a positive impact on the city outside their capacity as municipal employees. It promotes the ideal of being a socially-responsible business with socially-responsible employees, according to Riddle.

“Provo City has generous employees who willingly participate in supporting local non-profit organizations through monetary donations, but they also participate every year in United Way’s Day of Caring by providing skills and labor in completing service projects for nonprofit organizations in our city,” she said.

In keeping with the idea of being exceptional in giving, Provo invites other companies, businesses and civic organizations to up their volunteerism and giving in 2023.

“That so many strive to make Provo a neighborly place is what truly makes it an exceptional community,”Kaufusi said.


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