She spends time with people with intellectual disabilities

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Once a week, Merrily Lau drives to the Utah State Developmental Center where she has volunteered for the past five years. She spends time "just playing" with the residents from painting to parachute ball, depending on their interests and capabilities.

Merrily says "interacting with the sweet ladies" is the best part. She described how "most of us [volunteers] work full-time during the day and come feeling washed out, but we walk out in the best mood…energized." Developmental center residents and employees appreciate Merrily's loving way and consistence.

"She's an angel," said volunteer coordinator Sherilyn Kent. —

Volunteer today

I Interested in delivering meals to seniors, mentoring troubled teens or playing board games with veterans? Opportunities are available by the thousands in Utah, where government and nonprofit agencies are looking for helping hands. Here are a couple of places to look.

Salt Lake County Aging Services • Those interested in volunteering should call Vicki Jo Hansen at 385-468-3239.

United Way 2-1-1 • Go to The organization maintains a list of projects that can be narrowed by neighborhood and interests.

Have a volunteer you would like to highlight? Email us at