LEGACY OF LOWELL

By Jennifer Jones, communications director, Bennion Community Service Center

There’s a stack of garden gloves, window cleaner, yarn and cardboard in a corner of the Bennion Center. If you’re careful, you can almost make a path between the supplies to the staff desk behind it all. The growing pile of materials, along with a steady stream of student volunteers, can only mean one thing. Legacy of Lowell Day of Service is right around the corner. This year it all comes together on Saturday, Sept. 17, at 9 a.m. at Glendale Middle School.

Lol_mother&daughter_1For more than a dozen years, the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center has partnered with various community agencies in a morning of service that makes everyone’s lives a little better. Whether it’s weeding, working on home repair, quilting, conducting vision screenings, or one of almost 20 other activities, Legacy of Lowell connects the University of Utah with the community unlike any other activity. There are family-friendly projects for children or more grown-up work for students and other adults. Register and choose your favorite project here.

The event is named after the late Lowell Bennion, a former U professor who was fond of rounding up his neighbors and students on Saturdays and putting them to work on various community projects. Never assigned the tasks, he simply asked, “How can I help?” When he got an answer, he pitched in.

“I think Legacy of Lowell answers a call to action that may otherwise not be answered in a timely manner,” says student Naveen Rathi. “It brings people together who may not have that much in common to do something good for the community.”

Student John Peterson says, “It’s a lot of fun!” Peterson, who participated in 2015, adds, “It was my first exposure to the Bennion Center. You can really see the power of the Bennion Center out in force.”

In 2015, more than 600 university students, staff, faculty and community members banded together to put in a total of 1,683 hours of service. The dollar value of that morning of service alone would have totaled more than $38,000.

As the hub of volunteer service for the University of Utah, Bennion Center students lead projects in the community throughout the year. Legacy of Lowell is the kick-off event. Partnering with Salt Lake City Schools, the event introduces volunteers to community needs and service groups trying to meet those needs.

For more information on how your group can participate, email Bryce Williams at bryce.williams@utah.edu.