RC Willey employees team up with charity to support refugees in Utah

OREM, Utah — Since its inception in 1932, whole-home retailer RC Willey has had community outreach and support of worthy charities as key ingredients in its recipe for success.

The most recent evidence of the retailer’s ongoing support occurred a few weeks ago when RC Willey employees teamed up with members of Lifting Hands International, headquartered in Salt Lake City, to assemble care packages for refugees and displaced people in Utah County. 

In addition to donating their employees’ time and labor for this project, RC Willey also made a generous monetary contribution to LFI to support the group’s ongoing and future efforts of aiding the community here.

These RC Willey employees teamed up with Salt Lake City-based Lifting Hands International to assemble care packages for refugees and displaced people in Utah County. 

Coordinating and spearheading the effort on behalf of RC Willey was Larry Smalley, the manager of the retailer’s Orem location.

Home News Now spoke to Smalley about the initiative. A neighbor of Smalley’s who volunteers at Lifting Hands International regularly told Smalley about the group and their mission of providing aid to refugees, both local and abroad.

Larry Smalley, right, the general manager of the RC Willey store in Orem, Utah, presents a donation to Traci Parson, of Lifting Hands International.

Initially, Smalley took his church group of teenagers, who were looking for an opportunity to serve, to LFI’s facilities. The youth group enjoyed the experience so much that Smalley, knowing RC Willey’s interest in helping the community, shared the opportunity with his fellow employees at his store.

“When we explained that by helping Lifting Hands International, we could not only help the community but also help your fellow man globally, they were all on board,” he recalled.

RC Willey employees mobilized and began the much-needed task of assembling care packages that LFI distributes to those in need.  “Since many displaced refugees arrive with only the clothes on their backs, the packages, which contain blankets, toiletries, school supplies and so much more, are essential to these people” Smalley said.

Even so, the retailer wanted to do even more. In addition to helping assemble these much-needed care packages, RC Willey made a generous financial contribution to allow LFI to continue its work.

Despite coordinating the effort between LFI and RC Willey, Smalley is a study in humility and refused to take any credit for his efforts.

“The desire to help people in need has always come from the top. It started with Bill Child, then his kids, and so on down the line. As the general manager of the Orem store, I try every day to create a family environment here where all our associates feel that they truly are part of the RC Willey family. I know you hear that all the time, but we do care for each other here,” Smalley said.

That family atmosphere has been conveyed to Smalley’s customers as well. “When they come to the store, they see that we care about our employees and we also care about them,” he said, adding, “We have an atmosphere of love, respect and kindness for one another, and our customers have told me that see and feel that.”

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