Pink flamingos flock to fund homeless center

Posted at 7:07 PM, Feb 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-09 21:07:38-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County Mayor’s Youth Council went out to cover lawns in pink flamingos on Saturday, but their actions weren’t just a silly prank.

The group covered the lawns of eight homes in flocks of plastic pink flamingos, and those who have been “flocked” can donate to get rid of the birds. The group’s goal is to raise money and awareness for Utah’s homeless youth.

Those who found their homes flocked can go online and make a donation to the Volunteers of America Homeless Youth Resource Center, which allows them to suggest the next home for the flamingos to visit.

Zach Bale works with the Volunteers of America, and he said the project draws a connection between the flamingos being in the snow and homeless youth being out in the snow—the idea being that both aren’t where they ought to be.

“So it’s just kind of a fun, catchy thing,” he said. “You see it, and it makes you think ‘what are these doing on my lawn?’ It’s kind of a playful way, but then what each person will receive is a flyer that talks about why are these flamingos out in the cold, and it really compares that to all the number of homeless youth that are out in the cold.”

Terry Palmer is one of the mentors for Salt Lake County youth government, and she said this isn’t the first time they’ve used this approach to fundraising.

“We’ve done this in the past, and people really like it,” she said. “It’s well-received, and it also gets the word out about the importance of helping our homeless youth. There’s hundreds on the streets every night.”

The fundraiser will last for four weeks, and organizers said they hope to raise up to $2,500 for the homeless youth center in that time.

 The Salt Lake County Mayor’s Youth Council is a volunteer board of 12 teens who have been appointed by the Salt Lake County mayor to promote youth leadership, encourage community involvement and raise awareness of youth issues.