Passion for service

By By Alex Steele

By Alex Steele

For many college students, community service is not a high priority. For Holly Uphold, though, it’s an integral part of life.

Uphold, a junior in political science and English, said she likes to get involved in service to give back to the community.

“I honestly feel that people can make a difference,” she said. “I’ve found it’s the little things that make the big difference.”

Some of the “little things” Uphold enjoys are reading to children and raising money for various organizations. She said her favorite organization to volunteer for is Relay for Life, which holds overnight events to raise money for the American Cancer Society. She has participated in Relay for Life events for about five years.

Uphold said she plans to work at the Candy Cane Corner this holiday season.

Jennifer Paulsen, a volunteer coordinator with The Road Home, Salt Lake County’s largest homeless shelter, said the Candy Cane Corner is an opportunity for lower-income people to shop for their families during the holidays.

“The holiday season is a great time of year for thinking about how you fit into society and your responsibility as a citizen to make our community a better place,” Paulsen said.

Being involved in the community is not easy for Uphold. Besides the hours she puts into service, she also balances 12 to 15 credit hours per semester, is the vice president of standards for her sorority–Kappa Kappa Gamma–and works part time at a caf in Park City.

But Uphold says her commitments won’t keep her from participating in community service.

“When I’m gung-ho about something, I’m gung-ho about it,” she said.

Uphold said one of the best ways to stay active in community service is to make it fun by bringing friends along, which is how she got started with community service in the first place.

“Community service makes me thankful for what I have and (makes me) appreciate the life I have,” she said. “You have to have a passion for something to make a difference.”

Uphold said she performs about eight hours of service a month and that all students can find at least an extra hour a week to do service as long as they’re familiar with their schedules.

“Keep a planner,” she said. “It’s amazing how beneficial it can be.”