The spirit of the holiday season is all about giving, and APRO members are constantly giving back to the community. In fact, one of our members was recently recognized for her charity work: On November 15, Misti Brunelle, Owner of Action Rent-To-Own in West Valley City, Utah, was a recipient of the Heart & Hands Award from Utah Philanthropy Day.
Misti volunteers for Reach Out Today. Based in Sandy, Utah, the organization is “dedicated to alleviating gaps within our communities surrounding vulnerable children and youth and then taking action.”
Misti elaborates, “Most charities pick one thing to focus on and that is what they do, which is amazing, but this group looks for anything that those charities are missing.”
The four gaps on which Reach Out Today focuses are:
- Food – delivering pantry packs and covering the costs of school lunches for children who need them
- Clothing – providing clothing to children in need as well as laundry detergent and laundromat tokens to their families
- Hygiene – building confidence in children and youth through pop-up salons and packs needed for proper hygiene
- Transition – making traumatic changes in life easier for children and youth facing transition
“We do a lot with helping both parents and children transitioning in and out of foster care, providing hygiene kits to people experiencing homelessness, getting furniture and household needs for people transitioning from homelessness, helping set families up with heat and electricity, rent assistance, etcetera,” Misti says. “We also just got a grant to build our own shelter, which just blows my mind to imagine. The list goes on forever, and that is why I love this group so much!
“I will never forget the nights that I slept on the side of the road wondering what tomorrow would bring, so to be able to help people not have to worry about tomorrow is truly a blessing to me! Sometimes it makes me feel selfish because it fills my heart so much, but I keep doing what I can because there are so many people truly in need.
“To be a part of this group has been the most rewarding thing ever to happen to me!”