Volunteers cleaned neighborhoods, built beds for children and collected canned goods for the hungry. They donated bicycles to refugees, fed the homeless from food trucks and collected inspiring stories and scarves for women facing cancer.
Across Louisville, such projects and deeds during Mayor Greg Fischer’s seventh-annual Give A Day Week of Service amounted to more than 205,000 acts of volunteerism or compassion during the week that ended on April 22. That surpassed last year’s record of about 180,000 volunteers and acts of compassion.
Mayor Fischer, who started Give A Day in 2011 and has since expanded it to eight days that now occur as part of the Kentucky Derby Festival, said the turnout once again showed why Louisville has become known as a compassionate city that seeks to lift up all parts of the community.
“I am beyond grateful to every citizen, school, business and community group who helped make Louisville a better place during Give A Day week,” the Mayor said. “It’s inspiring to see the selfless service put forth by our community growing each year.”
Among the turnout this year: More than 19,000 joined the Brightside & Passport Health Plan Spring Community Wide Cleanups, removing litter and debris from neighborhoods, parks and schools. Dare to Care collected 30,500 pounds of food at local Kroger stores.
And 58,422 JCPS students and teachers – often entire schools and classes – again joined thousands more private and Catholic school students on service projects. WE Day’s walk of compassion drew about 3,250, mostly students who participated in service projects that collected personal care items, comprising nearly 20,000 hours of service.
Meantime, employees at local companies such as GE, Computershare and LG&E spread across the city for projects, joining Louisville Metro Government and local churches. Presbyterian Center USA brought 483 volunteers to assemble thousands of hygiene kits, while the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary sent nearly 500 volunteers on cleanups throughout Louisville.
The annual count is an estimate based on volunteers and groups who reported their work and acts of compassion, such as donated meals and other items. The success of Give A Day would not be possible without the support and coordination of Metro United Way, which matches volunteers with needy projects and organizations through the website, www.mygiveaday.com.
“Our hearts are filled with gratitude for everyone who gave time, talent, and treasure to improve our community this week,” said Theresa Reno-Weber, president and CEO of Metro United Way. “You inspire us to keep fighting each and every day for the education, financial independence and health of every person in the seven counties we serve. We know that, unfortunately, the need in our community does not last for only one week or one month – it’s here all year long. So, we invite you to continue working with us and making change by visiting metrounitedway.org and exploring ways to give, advocate and volunteer. This is how we live united!”
2018 Give A Day week of service — Notable Numbers:
30,500 – Pounds of food donated through Kroger and Dare to Care food drive
19,464 — Brightside volunteers who helped clean up Louisville
58,422 – JCPS students and teachers who participated in service projects
15,000 – Families served by personal hygiene items collected and distributed as part of WE Day