Utah has become well known for the generosity of its volunteers, and I'd like to contribute to the pool of great stories.

On Aug. 15 more than 700 volunteers donated their time to support our neighborhood revitalization efforts and paint more than 25 homes. Salt Lake Neighborhood Housing Services, a nonprofit housing organization, annually organizes Paint Your Heart Out. Senior citizens and individuals with disabilities on limited incomes qualify to have the exterior of their home painted by volunteers. Volunteers are recruited to donate two Saturdays in August and to do the preparation work and paint the exterior of the homes.The exchange between the recipient and volunteer is difficult to capture on camera or print. What I have experienced firsthand is a renewed faith from senior citizens that people do care and they are valued by the community. Volunteers experience the positive attributes of a different neighborhood and observe firsthand that they make a difference in a person's life.

I would like to express the organization's gratitude to the following for their commitment to community building: State Farm Insurance, Rocky Mountain Gas Association, American Express Centurion Bank, Salt Lake Board of Realtors, Allstate Insurance Company, Salt Lake City Corporation, FDIC Housing Authority of Salt Lake City, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Salt Lake County Aging Services, State Community and Economic Development, Fidelity Investments, Salt Lake City Probation Unit Bank One, US West Communications Worker's Compensation Fund of Utah, University Hospitals and Clinics, Chevron, First Southern Baptist Church, Levolor Home Fashion, Proactive, Salt Lake Police Department, Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, County Parks and Recreation, Voicestream, First Unitarian Church.

Maria Garciaz

Executive director,

S.L. Neighborhood Housing Services

Salt Lake City