Thousands of Louisvillians will be volunteering and participating in acts of compassion — from neighborhood cleanups to donating canned foods for the hungry – as part of the Mayor’s annual Give A Day Week of Service, which kicks off Saturday.
Give A Day week, which runs April 14-22, has become the city’s annual showcase of compassion and service. Started in 2011 as a one-day call to serve others, it has extended to more than a week. Last year’s Give A Day Week produced a record 180,000 volunteers and acts of compassion. Mayor Greg Fischer said this year’s goal is to top that, with even more volunteers, donations and other good deeds.
Give A Day is also an official Kentucky Derby Festival event, and kicks off the festival season. Companies and organizations of all sizes will have employee teams in action, including Humana, LG&E, Brown-Forman, GE, UPS, Computershare and Coca-Cola Bottling Consolidated. So will churches and community groups. Also participating will be students, who will be doing everything from collecting personal items for donation to cleaning neighborhoods. This year, every student from JCPS, Archdiocese and private schools will have the opportunity to participate in a kindness project.
The Mayor said there are countless ways to participate, such as donating food and personal items to the Ronald McDonald House, helping serve dinner to kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Kentuckiana and even donating a story of cancer survival to Hope Scarves, whose mission is to share scarves, stories and hope with women facing cancer.
“We have made compassion one of our city’s core values, with the aim to lift each other up as a community,” the Mayor said. “The Give A Day Week of Service is the time for Louisville to shine and build on its reputation as one of the most compassionate cities in America.”
The Mayor will start the week visiting a series of projects Saturday, including one of the largest, the Brightside & Passport Health Plan Spring Community Wide Cleanup. It takes place at locations across the city to help make Louisville a greener and cleaner community, by picking up litter and debris from neighborhoods, greenspaces and roadways.
Other weekend events include the annual Build a Bed on Saturday at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, a food truck event for the homeless and an Eastern Cemetery cleanup on Sunday.
Volunteers are still needed for projects of all kinds. To register, go to the website: www.mygiveaday.com and click on “volunteer for an existing project.” In addition, groups and individuals are urged to use the same website to report projects and good deeds they are doing on their own.
“We’re proud to support our community in solving problems through volunteer service all year round,” said Theresa Reno-Weber, president and CEO of Metro United Way. “As a part of that continuous work, we are excited to again serve as the backbone of Mayor’s Give A Day by connecting volunteers to meaningful opportunities to give back and address the needs of our neighbors. Connecting people with the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done is at the heart of what we do in our fight for the education, financial stability and health of every person in our seven-county region.”
The Mayor will also participate in the student-led WE Day Walk of Compassion through downtown as a Give A Day event on April 17. WE Day Kentucky, in partnership with WLKY, celebrates student service projects and invites the public to join thousands of students in a lunch-time walk, carrying signs of compassion.
“The Mayor’s Give A Day initiative is a great opportunity for our students and staff to make a difference in their schools and community,” said JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio. “I’m proud that 100 percent of our schools will once again be participating in this weeklong initiative – committing more than 1,100 days of service doing everything from cleaning up parks, playgrounds and roadways, to collecting food and toiletries for local food banks and shelters, to recognizing veterans and their families, among dozens of other projects. It says a lot about the culture of our schools and the commitment of our students and staff that they remain so dedicated to making an impact in their city.