Here at Mozy/EMC we value opportunities where we get to work more closely with the community and give back. Our company values these experiences so much that they give each employee an allotment of hours to use each year that are specifically dedicated to volunteer work.
The fantastic Mozy/EMC Employees that volunteered at the Youth Resource Center on Friday, August 12th.
Happily, most of our fantastic employees go out of their way to go above and beyond the allotted time and give many hours of their own personal time helping the community as well. We love to see them in action and experience these volunteer events, and we figured that many of our customers and Community readers would love to see it too-so today we're sharing a piece of that with you.
The entrance to the Youth Resource Center at 888 South 400 W in Salt Lake City, UT.
Mozy's Most Recent Volunteer Event
Last Friday a group of fantastic Mozy/EMC volunteers (pictured above) met at the VOA Youth Resource Center to volunteer our time helping the VOA and their staff sort through donations as well as do other tasks around the new facility that recently opened it's doors at 888 South and 400 West in the heart of Salt Lake City. Situated a little to the west, near both the industrial and residential areas of Utah's most metropolitan city, this new building better helps homeless and at-risk youth between the ages of 15 and 22.
The New VOA Youth Resource Center
When we first walked in the doors of the brand-new Youth Resource Center, we were greeted by friendly staff and in awe of how well organized, clean, and classy the place both looks and operates. It has a wonderful industrial feel with concrete floors and exposed duct work (much like our new offices here at Mozy) and that translate into a very modern environment that still manages to feel open, warm, and inviting.
The front doors open into the main area where you find a sitting area complete with couches and a fireplace, a well-stocked kitchen where volunteers prepare meals, a pantry area where the youth can grab bottles of water and small edible items like peanut butter and canned soup throughout the day, racks of clothing for them to choose from, a table filled with games for the teens to play, and a big open multipurpose room.
At the time we were arriving, a group of young musicians sat in a music class in the adjoining big room (which we later learned is also the room that transitions into a warm place to sleep in the evening simply by pulling out beds-which we found to be pretty supportive and comfortable) and they smiled warmly at us as we passed. Another group of teens sat semi-circled on the cow-colored couch and it's partnered chairs with their backpacks. They laughed, discussed their days, and were genuinely amused by us as we pushed cart after cart filled with hundreds of recently-donated water bottles past them.
Donated items at the Youth Resource Center in Salt Lake City, UT.
Sorting Donations & Volunteering
After getting a good look at the main floor we were directed to the back room where large industrial dryers run constantly to clean clothing and bedding. It's also where the donations are dropped off, sorted, and stored. We were pleased to find that they get many useful donations and that some of their bins were starting to fill up a bit. Full bins even seem like not enough when you think about the 50+ youth who pass through their doors daily.
There are bins filled with clothing for people of every size and shape, shoes, hygiene products (deodorant, soap, shampoo, etc.), and diapers. I was surprised to find that diapers were something they frequently need since they don't typically serve youth that young, but it became clear than some of the youth they help between ages 15 and 22 have babies or children of their own who are also in need.
Mozy/EMC Volunteers sorting through clothing and donations at the Youth Resource Center.
After the water was moved, we quickly got to work sorting some of the newer items that had been dropped off. We sorted through bags of donated shoes and clothing, directing the good quality stuff into their appropriate bins and locations on the shelves, and tossing the stuff that was too worn through or undesirable into bins to further donate or recycle. There were so many great items that people had donated, including brand new boxes of shirts with tags still on them that were left over after the Sundance Film Festival. I love seeing organizations contributing what they can as well, and those brand-new quality shirts will go a long way to helping teens who need them.
Our volunteers standing in front of the fireplace in the main area after our tour.
Volunteers & Staff Do More Than Provide Food & Shelter
When we finished our work for the day, we were lucky enough to get a guided tour of the new building and learn a little more about what they do there. Our guide lead us upstairs and showed us rooms they use to offer the youth they serve more than just a roof and food. There were quiet rooms where they could take time alone or study, conference rooms they regularly use as classrooms or convert into yoga studios, desks set aside for a future community outreach team that will help find teens who are in-need but not aware of what is available to them, an outside area that gives them a safe space to be outdoors even after the doors are locked for the evening, and much more.
The outdoor space where teens can get some fresh air, even after hours.
It was great to also learn more about how they are continually working to help these young people in more ways than just giving them a safe space to bed down for the night. They have teachers coming in and volunteering their time to help their residents learn computer and other marketable skills, as well as working with them on useful skill-sets like resume building and interviewing for jobs. The dedicated staff at this facility take the time with the youth they are caring for to help them find jobs and build lives for themselves outside of the center. They want to make sure that each teen who passes through their doors has the opportunity to better their situation and thrive even after they're no longer residing at the Youth Resource Center.
You Can Give Back Back Too
We at Mozy would like to thank the Volunteers of America and their staff at the Youth Resource center for letting us come be a part of their wonderful organization for an afternoon, and for taking the time to educate us further on what they do and why the need for it is so great. We'd also like to encourage you to get out there and give back to your community in any way you can. It'll make such a big difference in the world and the lives of many individuals, and it'll make you feel really good for doing so. Even if you can't help at the Youth Resource Center here in Salt Lake City, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities in your area that would be happy to help you.
If you're located in the Salt Lake valley, please take the time to donate or Volunteer with the VOA Youth Resource Center. They're always in need of people to come in and clean, sort donations, cook for the youth, organizing and participating in fundraising events, and much more. If you're unable to volunteer, please take time to donate. You can donate money (you can even donate to the Youth Resource Center securely and with ease online), new or gently used clothing, new toiletries, and many more supplies. Please check out their needs list to see if there is anything you can give to make the life of a local youth (or anyone) better. If you can't volunteer or donate, please take the time to share this information with your friends, you never know who in your circle can help in some way, and that simple act of sharing their information (or this post) on social media can help so much more than you even know.