Wednesday July 24, 2024
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As part of an annual extravaganza of compassion and service, thousands of Louisvillians will be volunteering in ways large and small during the Mayor’s annual Week of Service, which runs Saturday through April 23.

One of the week’s largest projects will be the Brightside & Passport Health Plan Spring Community Wide Cleanup on Saturday. Already, more than 16,000 people are committed to making Louisville a greener and cleaner community, by picking up litter and debris from neighborhoods, greenspaces and roadways.

And there is still time to register: Go to www.brightsideinc.org. With the help of sponsors Passport Health Plan and the Kentucky Pride Fund, Brightside provides bags and gloves to all participating groups, and T-shirts to the first 5,000 registrants.

Volunteer for Give A Day Projects

Mayor Greg Fischer will kick off this sixth annual Give A Day week with a 9 a.m. stop Saturday at the Build A Bed event at Meyzeek Middle School, where hundreds of volunteers will work in teams to build beds that will go to Jefferson County Public School children who are sleeping on couches, air mattresses or even the floor.

Other Saturday events include a 3 p.m. bicycle giveaway to refugees at Kentucky Refugee Ministries, thanks to volunteers from Pedal Power; and huge community cleanups and picnics in the California, Parkland and Shelby Park neighborhoods. (Similar events are planned in the Smoketown and Shawnee neighborhoods on April 22.)

The Mayor’s goal for the week, which helps launch the 2017 Kentucky Derby Festival,  is to break Louisville’s existing “world record” for caring and helping – set in 2016 with more than 175,000 volunteers and acts of compassion.

“When we decided six years ago to start to focus on celebrating and cultivating compassion as one of our city’s core values, the people of Louisville responded, demonstrating over and over again that this is a city where people believe in the value of doing what our great native son Muhammad Ali called ‘the work of the heart,’” the Mayor said. “That work happens every day in this city. Give A Day simply shines a spotlight on it.”

The Mayor pointed out that participating in the Week of Service can be as simple as dropping food into the Dare to Care bins at all area Kroger stores.

And for the second year in a row, the international WE Day will, in partnership with the Mayor’s office and WLKY, hold a short Walk of Compassion through downtown as a Give A Day event on April 18. The public is invited to join more than 3,000 students participating in the lunch-time walk, carrying signs of compassion.

Students from both private and public schools are a huge component of Give A Day. JCPS’ students will be planting trees, collecting items for local food pantries, organizing campus and neighborhood cleanups, writing thank you cards to police and veterans, and collecting teddy bears for police to have in their cruisers when they make runs on cases involving children.

“We are proud to once again have 100 percent participation from our schools in the Mayor’s Give A Day initiative,” said JCPS Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens.  “Last year, our students logged more than 1,145 days of service – that’s more than three years of kindness, service and citizenship in just one week.  This experience gives our students a chance to give back to our community and participate as citizens in our diverse, shared world.”

Most local Catholic schools are also engaged in projects. St. Stephen Martyr, for example, is making care packages for cancer patients, filling decorated bags with things like hard candy, pocket tissues, hand sanitizer, lip balm and small packages of snacks. And fifth-graders at Holy Trinity will be visiting and playing games with residents of the Masonic Home.

Local businesses are also a huge part of the Week of Service, as companies large and small contribute their time, talent and treasure on projects throughout the community.

Volunteers are still needed for more than 100 projects of all kinds. To register, go to the website: www.mygiveaday.com and click on “volunteer for an existing project.”

Groups and individuals are urged to use the same website to report projects and good deeds they are doing on their own.

Thousands of volunteers will join together on Saturday, April 15 for the bi-annual Brightside & Passport Health Plan Spring Community-Wide Cleanup to pick up litter and beautify sites across Louisville.

More than 200 groups — Boy & Girl Scouts, neighborhood associations, business associations, elementary school classrooms, families and more — will be participating in Saturday’s event, which serves as the kick off to Mayor Fischer’s Give A Day Week of Service, April 15-23.

“A clean street is something that residents in all corners of our city can agree is important to the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “I encourage neighbors to work together and work with Brightside to keep our streets litter-free.”

To participate, volunteers choose their own cleanup site and coordinate with Brightside to receive gloves, bags, and for the first 5,000 volunteers, T-shirts. Trash pick-up will be coordinated with Louisville Metro Solid Waste Management Services. The cleanup is sponsored by Passport Health Plan.

“We are thrilled to be the title sponsor of the 2017 Brightside & Passport Health Plan Spring Community-Wide Cleanup,” said Mark B. Carter, CEO of Passport Health Plan. “We come together with Mayor Fischer, Brightside and all Louisville residents in the knowledge that a cleaner city helps all residents improve their health and overall quality of life.”

Cleanups are an integral part of Brightside’s mission, and without the help of volunteer groups and many other volunteers throughout the year, Brightside could not meet its goal of a cleaner, greener Louisville. Neighborhoods can hold their own cleanups at any point throughout the year, and Brightside encourages neighborhood associations, block watches, businesses and faith groups to play an active role in keeping their neighborhoods litter-free.

Registration for the April 15 community-wide cleanup is still open. Visit the Brightside website at www.brightsideinc.org to complete the registration form or call (502) 574-2613 to register your team.

Mayor Greg Fischer today honored the work of more than 500 active volunteers of the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program, or RSVP.

“The citizens who serve as RSVP volunteers demonstrate compassion in action year round,” said Mayor Fischer. “I am grateful to them for helping to make our city stronger, and an even better place to live.”

RSVP connects people age 55 and older with their choice of over 50 public service and non-profit locations, including American Red Cross, CASA, Dare to Care, and the Robley Rex VA Medical Center.

“The RSVP volunteers generously give their energy, skills and caring dedication toward providing over $1.5 million in savings/service impact for their agencies. This celebration is their public ‘thank you,’” said RSVP Program Coordinator, Christopher Clements.

Recent surveys, including one of RSVP members, showed that seniors believed that volunteering helps them stay mentally focused, more socially connected and physically active.  The volunteer members’ positive outcomes for their clients and themselves greatly support Louisville’s status as a “Compassionate City.”

For more information on RSVP activities or to learn how to become a volunteer, call (502) 574-1350 or visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/community-services/retired-and-senio….

The event today themed, “Thanks for lending a hand to your community,” was held at The Olmsted, (Masonic Home Campus) 3701 Frankfort Ave. and sponsored by Passport Health Plan. The Rev. Ron Loughry, Executive Director of Fern Creek/Highview United Ministries, and winner of the 2015 ElderServe’s “Champion for Aging” served as master of ceremonies. During the celebration, 82 RSVP volunteers who reached their dedicated, volunteer service milestones of five to 25 years were recognized.

Part of the city’s Community Services Department, Louisville Metro RSVP is federally funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service/Senior Corps and locally sponsored by Louisville Metro Department of Community Services, Division of Advocacy & Empowerment.

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