MIDVALE, Utah — Cheers rang out in the crisp autumn air as East Midvale Elementary School students marched in a parade around the school.
It was the Friday before Halloween, and the children were showing off an impressive array of Halloween costumes to their loved ones who had gathered outside the school’s community garden to support them. The sound of youthful laughter wove itself between blaring Halloween classics like Monster Mash and Thriller.
The excitement seemed palpable, and the students’ happiness — effortless. But the much-anticipated Halloween 2022 school party was in fact a success because of several coordinated efforts between thoughtful organizers at Jacobsen Construction and United Way of Salt Lake, as well as proactive school staff and enthusiastic parent volunteers. Together, these groups donated more than 100 dazzling new Halloween costumes, decorated the exterior of the school and came ready on the morning of the parade to help students without costumes decide what they wanted to put on.
It was a joint act of caring and kindness that resonated powerfully with students who now had something to show off during the Halloween parade.
“My kiddos were distraught this morning coming into the classroom without a costume. They came back GLOWING after getting a costume,” said Perilynn Krieger, a kindergarten teacher at the school.
The opportunity to turn someone’s whole day around — to reach out and make them feel appreciated and seen — was a sweet reward for Jacobsen employees who celebrated the company’s centennial year in 2022 by doing more than ever to serve their communities. Jacobsen’s goal was to show gratitude to the communities that have helped the company succeed and been home for the past 100 years, according to president and CEO Gary Ellis.
“There’s no doubt that 2022 was a terrific year for supporting people in our communities,” Ellis said. “I’m thankful to everyone at Jacobsen for their willingness to give back.”
Another major service initiative in observance of Jacobsen’s centennial year was the company’s partnership with Fill the Pot Ministry in Salt Lake City to provide hundreds of warm meals to people experiencing homelessness on two occasions during the summer. Jacobsen employees also donated numerous blankets, coats, hygiene items and men’s pants to Fill the Pot Ministry for distribution to the people it serves.
“It was an amazing opportunity for us to work with Fill the Pot,” said April McClean, executive assistant at Jacobsen and the organizer of the service effort. “Every one of our volunteers who I spoke with said they had a fantastic experience.”
Jacobsen also led fundraising efforts on behalf the Utah chapter of the American Heart Association, gathering significant contributions from generous business partners and employees in conjunction with the annual Heart and Stroke Walk in Salt Lake City and promoting awareness about the important work of the organization. Several employees also participated in the walk itself, which was held in September.
“As we spent time reflecting on the significance of Jacobsen turning 100, it felt good to put the focus of our success on giving back to people in the communities we are building,” said Chief Operating Officer Matt Radke, who led Jacobsen’s fundraising efforts for the American Heart Association.
Jacobsen’s other service initiatives in 2022 included:
- Donating more than 300 pounds of nonperishable food and other essential supplies to Ukrainian refugees
- Providing new toys, games, blankets and other gifts to help fill Santa’s sleigh for children, teens and young adults who have been abused, neglected or face homelessness, in partnership with The Christmas Box International Project Elf.
- Contributing employee financial donations to United Way Salt Lake
- Collecting nonperishable food items and raising funds for the Utah Food Bank
- Donating new and gently used children’s shoes on behalf of Midvale Elementary School students
- Giving financial or in-kind support to more than 40 charities