It’s National Volunteer Week, a time to recognize the powerful influence of volunteer service in our communities. For many employees at Extra Space Storage, the commitment of “helping people to a better tomorrow” extends beyond the workplace and into their communities.
Roz Danford has worked at Extra Space Storage since 2011. Through a recent partnership with South Valley Services (SVS)—a Utah-based group of professionals, community leaders, and citizens supporting survivors of domestic violence—Danford proved the impact of volunteering.
Danford started with Extra Space Storage ten years ago as a field employee in Honolulu, HI. After five years in the field, she moved to Utah and continued her career with the company. Today, Danford works at the Salt Lake City headquarters as a Safety Manager, where she evaluates injury data, risk management trends, and ensures labor safety laws are met.
After her son was born, Danford was looking for something to promote her health, fitness, and work-life balance. That’s when she found the sport of women’s powerlifting—that is, competitive weightlifting in which contestants attempt maximum weight in three different lift sequences. Along her powerlifting journey, Danford shares what led to her involvement with SVS.
“This all started because I had an internet bully when I posted a video of me lifting. The bully said something that really angered me, and I remember thinking, ‘Do other lifters also feel this pressure?’”
As Danford discussed this with friend and fellow lifter, Kristen Smith, the consensus was “Absolutely yes.” Together, they decided to create an event for women empowering women called Strength Over Violence. They knew immediately that they wanted to partner with SVS and raise money to support the organization’s purpose of helping families and individuals impacted by domestic violence.
According to SVS, one in three Utah women and one in four Utah men will experience domestic violence. The organization, located in West Jordan, UT, has served the South Valley and surrounding areas along Utah’s Wasatch Front since 1998. Their mission is to provide shelter, advocacy, case management, and prevention services to families and individuals impacted by domestic violence. Additionally, they aim to empower individuals and communities through education based on the most current research and best practices.
“Our role is to help all of our community understand that violence is happening at any given time, but there is help and services, if anyone needs it,” said SVS Executive Director Jennifer Campbell. “I believe that people have a right to be safe. I would like them to know that they are not alone, and there are people who want to help them.”
The Strength Over Violence event invited female powerlifters from across the state to compete on behalf of SVS. Participants had the choice to donate a set amount or donate per pound lifted. In total, the event raised $3,500.
“I think what’s important for us today is realizing that there is help out there,” Danford said after the event. “You saw it here today. We’re all trying to cheer each other on. Sometimes with lifting, I’ll reach out to other coaches and say, ‘Hey, can you give me feedback on this?’ I think it’s the same with domestic violence…just realizing that there are resources and help out there, not only in lifting but also with domestic violence and in situations like that.”
South Valley Services is a private non-profit organization. Services rely 100% on contributions from government, cities, corporations, foundations and community members. Learn more about SVS, volunteer opportunities, and how to donate on their website