The Salt Lake area has many great charities that benefit the health and welfare of children. It’s part of what makes living here such an enjoyable and rewarding experience. We put together the following list of ten charities that help kids through mentoring, after-school and summer programs, leadership training, and education. These organizations not only benefit young people in our state but all over the world.
If one or more of the charities on this list appeals to you, you can contact them through their website to support them with your time or financial contribution. Doing so ensures that Utah stays community-oriented and puts the health and welfare of children first.
Youthlinc’s mission is to create great humanitarians. The organization encourages high school and college students to embrace community service and to become leaders in their communities. A few of their programs include Teen Refugee Mentoring and Global Community Leadership. The organization’s Local and International Service Year sees over 250 students devote nearly 20,000 hours of community service throughout the state. This service translates into almost $400,000 in projects that include construction and vocational training a well as providing school equipment and medical supplies. They also help young people in impoverished areas of Africa, Asia, and South America and award a Young Humanitarian Award to Utahns for their service. The award includes a $5,000 college scholarship.
2. Stepping Stones International
The mission of Stepping Stones International is to unlock the potential of vulnerable young people in Botswana. The organization provides youth development programs for kids as young as 12 and young adults up to 25 years of age. The purpose is to help them create sustainable opportunities that provide benefits both to themselves and their families. Programs include training in leadership and life skills and social advocacy. Stepping Stones has helped over 7,000 young people since its inception in 2005.
3. Youth Making a Difference
Youth Making a Difference trains and inspires young people to be leaders through seven values of leadership. The group accomplishes this by sending teens from the Salt Lake Valley area to villages in rural Northern India where they provide their services to better the living conditions of the people living there. The Salt Lake City teens teach English to children in rural school and help them get proper medical care. This provides a direct benefit to the children of these villages, many of whom are orphans. The organization has worked with dozens of schools in India to help thousands of children on over 50 expeditions since 2005.
4. Utah Youth Village
Utah Youth Village provides services to disadvantaged girls who are transitioning into long-term foster care. The organization operates eleven residential treatment homes for young people ages six to 18. During their stay, a trained married couple uses the Teaching-Family Model to educate the child on academics and job skills so they can be successful in their lives. They have an amazing track record as well with over 90 percent of the girls who graduate from the organization’s Alpine Academy go back to their families or go on to college. Eighty-three percent of the families served with Families First have completed the program.
5. Wasatch Community Gardens
Wasatch Community Gardens helps families grow and eat their own food. Their hands-on training teaches both children and adults how to care for a garden and produce healthy food. The majority of participants in their program come from low or moderate-income households. The organization partners with Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, and the Salt Lake City School District to facilitate programs and events and rely on the help of hundreds of volunteers to complete their mission every year. Participants in the programs work in a community garden and get access to job training programs.
6. Big Brothers – Big Sisters of Utah
Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Utah teaches children how to be successful as they go through life. This is done through training and education at vocational and technical schools. One-on-one mentoring also helps build support and relationships between adults and children in the Greater Salt Lake area. The organization strives to teach children the importance of setting and attaining goals, building relationships, and avoiding risky behaviors.
7. Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salt Lake
Boys & Girls Clubs seek to inspire young people and empower them to realize their potential and their value to their communities. This is accomplished with after-school programs and activities that emphasize social development and learning. These programs, along with summer programs, keep kids learning which is especially important for at-risk youth. Boys & Girls Clubs also provide childcare for children ages three and eight who come from single-parent and low-income households.
8. Neighborhood House Association
The Neighborhood House Association has provided childcare to the community since Utah was still a U.S. territory. Since then the organization has worked to empower and educate children as well as adults by providing affordable care solutions and support services. They are a nationally accredited preschool and daycare and also run after-school and summer programs for children ages 15 months up to 12 years old. Their programs emphasize language development and creative expression as they strengthen motor coordination and social and emotional learning.
9. Bad Dog Discovers America
Bad Dog seeks to inspire young people through art. Their mentors are artists themselves and they work with kids ages five to 18 to develop their creative skills. Through activities such as drawing, painting, and sculpture, they encourage free expression in children. Kids work with artists/mentors in the studio to design and build community art projects. They also travel beyond the studio to visit art museums and galleries. They host summer camps, workshops, and provide take-home art kits so kids can keep creating after their program has ended. Bad Dog also offers a tuition waiver to ensure every child has access to the program regardless of their family’s financial situation.
10. Voices for Utah Children
Voices for Utah Children want every child to thrive and reach their full potential. The organization believes there are five key areas that contribute the most to a child’s development. Those include health, school readiness, safety, economic stability, and diversity. They achieve these goals by providing quality care, support services, and advocacy on behalf of children. They also raise awareness through research as well as media campaigns and seek to influence government policy in ways that put children’s welfare first.