Local orgs participating in Live PC Give PC raise money for a number of causes | ParkRecord.com

Local orgs participating in Live PC Give PC raise money for a number of causes

This year’s Live PC Give PC features no shortage of organizations worth the time, money and attention of the community. For those interested in helping children or animals or protecting natural resources, here are five nonprofits to consider supporting.

The Solomon Fund

Youth sports participation ought to be available to all kids, but the reality in Park City is that it’s not. For many Latinx children, sports have been out of reach. That’s where The Solomon Fund comes in. Diego Zegarra, social equity director for the Park City Community Foundation (which runs The Solomon Fund), said the Fund’s mission is simple: to facilitate access to youth sports for those who have been too often left out.

“Latinx students have been historically underrepresented in activities outside the school walls, and our vision is to create a more inclusive and complete community,” he said. “We would like to see child participation in these activities reflect the diverse makeup of our town.”

Zegarra said the group’s goal is to reach 20 percent Latinx participation currently being offered in Park City, mirroring the demographics in schools.

“Whether it’s soccer, gymnastics, or swimming, children just want to participate,” he said. “Our job is to make sure families are aware of these opportunities and can connect their children with them.”

Zegarra said it’s important in a well-off community like Park City to ensure equity of access.

“Park City is a pretty idyllic place. Access to recreation is unparalleled for most,” he said. “The access working class families have is more limited. This initiative has a focus on justice and equity — it acknowledges that not everyone starts from the same place and it values outcomes: the ability for everyone to participate regardless of income, race or other factors.”

Zegarra said he hopes the community will be generous for Live PC Give PC this year.

“Our hopes are to raise $40,000-plus to continue providing financial support to children in our community facing the toughest barriers to participate,” he said. “We are lucky to have a $20,000 matching grant from the Lewis Family Foundation, thanks to Ed and Caroline Lewis, as well as a $5,000 matching grant from Lorraine Stuecken.”

Zegarra took a moment to shout out the Fund’s partner organizations, including Park City Soccer Club, Park City Karate, Ballet West, SOS Outreach and 30 others.

“They are going above and beyond to include more underserved students in their programs,” he said. “We are also grateful to all of our donors ensuring the sustainability of this initiative. It takes a community coming together to address these large issues.”

Learn more at parkcitycf.org/our-impact/other-programs/solomonfund/.

Elmer’s Helpers

While The Solomon Fund is ensuring all students have a chance to participate in youth sports, Elmer’s Helpers is making sure they have all the supplies they need to succeed inside the classroom. Sandra More, a board member with Elmer’s Helpers, said the organization came into existence in 2018 with a simple mission in mind.

“Elmer’s Helpers provides necessary consumable classroom supplies (the items students use in the classroom and also may take home) to teachers in the Summit County and Wasatch County (thus far) school districts,” she said.

The questions they ask the community to consider are: What happens when kids don’t have the supplies they need to learn? And further, what happens when a teacher has to use their own money to meet that need? The answer is, students and teachers both are left feeling unsupported and unappreciated.

“Teachers do not earn high salaries in general, and many of them dip into their own pockets to outfit their classrooms with the necessary supplies for their students to learn optimally,” More said. “Elmer’s Helpers exists to prevent that from happening. We provide supplies when the school’s supply budget might not meet all the students’ and classrooms’ needs.”

The goal of Elmer’s Helpers is to make a dent in the “out of pocket” expenses teachers have to come up with, and as importantly, show them their community supports them on an ongoing basis.

More said this year’s Live PC Give PC is as much about spreading awareness of Elmer’s Helpers as anything else.

“The money we raise will go toward purchasing supplies for teachers’ classrooms,” she said. “Teachers may apply for the specific supplies they need, and we encourage them to do so. Also, because we’re a fairly new nonprofit, we hope to gain greater exposure and a broader outreach through Live PC Give PC. We want all the teachers to know we’re here to help.”

Learn more at elmershelpers.org.

Utah Rivers Council

It can be easy to take for granted that Mother Nature will endure. Our local rivers have been there for much longer than we have, so they always will be there. But it’s not that simple. Our rivers, advocates say, need good stewards like the Utah Rivers Council. Zach Frankel, who started the Council in 1994, said he did so with the goal of protecting Utah’s rivers for future generations of both people and wildlife.

“We work to protect Utah’s precious aquatic landscapes from specific threats posed and to implement a range of sensible water policies, particularly around programs to encourage water conservation and eliminate water waste in our cities,” he said.

Utah is blessed with some of the American West’s most important aquatic landscapes, like the Great Salt Lake, the Colorado and Green Rivers and many other rivers and streams and lakes that are essential to Utah’s future. But Utahns are the highest municipal water users per capita in the United States, Frankel said, and that can’t continue.

“With 80 percent of Utah’s wildlife species dependent upon our rivers to exist for at least a portion of their life cycles, how much water we use in our cities has a direct impact upon the other species we share this state with,” he said. “Utah must reduce its wasteful municipal water use to achieve balance between how we use water, and how we leave water in our rivers and streams for fish and wildlife species.”

Frankel said Live PC Give PC will help the Rivers Council by helping to fund its popular rain barrel program in Summit County.

“It’s called RainHarvest,” he said. “RainHarvest works to reduce Utah’s municipal water use and improve water quality in local streams by distributing rain barrels to local residents to collect rainwater from downspouts on homes and businesses. These 50 gallon barrels help to collect water from the sky every time it rains instead of diverting that water from Summit County streams, rivers and aquifers.”

Learn more at utahrivers.org.

Sage Mountain — Health Planet Animals

At the Sage Mountain animal sanctuary in Peoa, Smooch gets regular visits from a two-legged friend named Kerri Cardin.

When Cardin shows up, Smooch can tell. He comes when called and, true to his name, gives her a big lick on the face. He chases after treats and crowds out his companions, Dave and Bradley, for Cardin’s attention.

Smooch is a cow.

And Sage Mountain is a sanctuary not for dogs, cats or horses, but for livestock.

“(Smooch and Cardin) have such a bond, and people don’t realize … they are just as connecting and sentient as your pets at home,” said Lauren Lockey, a cofounder of the nonprofit.

Smooch, along with a collection of turkeys, roosters, pigs, fellow cows and more comprise the population of Sage Mountain — Health Planet Animals, a nonprofit that shelters rescued livestock, sponsors educational programs and hosts group activities. This year, the organization is hoping to raise $5,000 over the course of Live PC Give PC to fund everyday necessities to help the animals live their lives to the fullest — food, bedding, veterinary care, the works.

An important part of the nonprofit’s mission is connecting visitors to the animals face to face.

“When people meet the animals,” Lockey said, “they start to see them as individuals rather than these billions of farm animals that get slaughtered every year.”

Each of the more than 20 animals at the sanctuary has their own story, Lockey said. Smooch was spared from slaughter after a community campaign, led in part by Cardin, his neighbor, rallied behind the friendly bovine. Ponyboy the pig broke out of a swine farm and was found on the side of a road far away. Rosie the lamb was found in the backcountry by a pair of avalanche forecasters. The list goes on.

“They don’t look like us, they don’t act like us necessarily, but they desire the same things, which is very basic needs of being happy, being social, having companionship, being free of suffering and being free to be a pig, or a goat, or a chicken, or a turkey,” Lockey said.

Sage Mountain also advocates for diets that are healthier both for humans and the planet that they — and the animals — live on with community education on industrial agriculture and incorporating more plant-based elements into the kitchen.

The organization has as many as 20 volunteers helping out around the sanctuary at any given time, and a number of them will hand out flyers on Main Street on Thursday.

Learn more about Sage Mountain at sagemtn.org. And follow Smooch on Instagram at @smooch_the_cow.

To participate in Live PC Give PC, visit livepcgivepc.org.

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