With volunteers cleaning neighborhoods, donating bikes to refugees, building beds for local youth and collecting canned goods and personal care items, Mayor Greg Fischer’s eighth annual Give A Day Week of Service made a big impact on the city and amounted to more than 235,000 acts of volunteerism and compassion during the week that ended Saturday, April 20, 2019.
That surpassed Louisville’s own 2018 world record of about 205,000 volunteers and acts of compassion.
The Mayor, 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 seeing the city join together to help each other out was inspiring and encouraging.
“What we saw this week was a true outpouring of compassion and shows the big impact each of us can have on our community by simply showing up and helping someone out,” Mayor Fischer said. “I’m inspired each year by seeing the new and creative ways people can chip in to keep our Give A Day effort growing, and by living our city core value of compassion during our week of service, and 365 days a year.”
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 projects and organizations through the website, www.mygiveaday.com.
“Service is at the heart of what Metro United Way does every day, and we’re so proud to partner with Mayor Fischer for his Give a Day Week of Service,” said Theresa Reno-Weber, President and CEO of Metro United Way. “Uplifting this week of service is critical to our community, but we also understand that service is necessary and needed all year long. Continuing to build a stronger, more vibrant community through service will help every person live life to its fullest potential.”
The 2019 Give A Day numbers included more than 17,000 volunteers who joined the Brightside & Passport Health Plan Spring Community-Wide Cleanups, removing litter and debris from neighborhoods, parks and schools.
60,000 Jefferson County Public Schools students and teachers joined together for a variety of projects throughout the week from cleaning up playgrounds and collecting donations for Louisville Metro Animal Services to volunteering at Family Scholar House.
Random Acts of Kindness, a nonprofit started by JCPS student Andrew Dunn, joined the Mayor, the Kentucky Derby Princesses and more than 700 Barret Middle School students, parents and staff to make 3,361 breakfast burritos to be delivered to homeless and local food pantries.
WE Day’s Walk for Compassion drew 4,100 students and teachers from across the Commonwealth who participated in service projects and donated 72,500 personal care items for the creation of 18,125 personal care kits.
Now more than ever, the Mayor said, he was proud of the local companies and employees that stepped up to volunteer and host events during the week.
Texas Roadhouse partnered with the Louisville Parks Foundation and Summer Blessings to fill 8,000 bags of food that will be handed out to children at Louisville community centers during the summer. Volunteers from GE Appliances, Walgreens, Kentucky Distillers Association, Brown-Forman, Republic Bank, Enterprise and Heine Brothers’ Coffee made repairs and spruced up the Volunteers of America’s Shelby Street Campus. And 42 volunteers from Michelin/American Synthetic Rubber Corporation joined New Directions Housing Corporation to bring much-needed home repairs to a homeowner in south Louisville.
Presbyterian Center USA brought 500 volunteers to assemble 1,500 hygiene kits, while the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary sent 300 student volunteers on cleanups throughout the city. Dare to Care collected 38,000 pounds of food from local Kroger stores.