Tuesday March 5, 2013
Goal is 100,000 people volunteering, making donations
Surrounded by volunteers and organizers, Mayor Greg Fischer today challenged residents to step up and help Louisville break its own world record for public service during the second Give A Day volunteer week April 13-21. The annual week of service helps launch the 2013 Kentucky Derby Festival.
- The Fuller Center will use volunteers, including a team from Louisville’s YouthBuild organization, to renovate five houses in West Louisville and provide them to deserving families;
- The Kroger Company will have 5,000 store managers and other employees in Louisville for their national meeting working in makeshift assembly lines to produce emergency food baskets for Dare to Care;
- The Exploited Children’s Help Organization, ECHO, will organize “Flash Mobs” of people to raise awareness to help prevent child abuse;
- Volunteers will help the Family Scholar House assemble “finals baskets” for nearly 200 single-parent college scholars living at the house who will be taking college final exams;
- Southern Baptist Seminary will implement “The 1937 Project” with employees and students doing a variety of projects recalling the community service work the seminary did during the 1937 flood;
- UPS employees will be planting 500 trees at locations throughout Louisville.
“Whether you give an hour or a day, donate a canned good, give blood, volunteer at a local non-profit agency or simply help a neighbor, you can make a difference,” Fischer said. “It’s easy to help someone else – so my challenge is: ‘What are you doing for Give A Day week? How will you make Louisville a better place?’”
Last year’s week produced more than 90,000 volunteers and acts of compassion and led to Louisville being named America’s Most Livable City by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Fischer said the goal for this year’s Give A Day is for Louisville to break its own “world record” with 100,000 volunteers and donations.
Anyone wanting to get involved should visit www.mygiveaday.com where individuals or groups can volunteer for a growing list of projects and needs submitted by local non-profit agencies, churches and other groups. Organizations needing volunteer help can use the website to register their projects.
“We connect people with the passion, expertise and resources to get things done toward our vision of a community whose people all achieve their fullest potential through education, financial stability and healthy lives,” said Joe Tolan, president and CEO of Metro United Way. “We’re proud to help lead Give A Day with our long history of Volunteer Connection services to organize projects and volunteers; we urge everyone to visit the website today and join us to help make a difference in our community. This is what it means to Live United!”
Fischer urged residents to also use the website to report their own community service. “If your church or civic group is doing a project that week, let us know about it so it can count toward our new world record,” Fischer said. “Any act of kindness counts, whether it’s mowing grass for an elderly neighbor or reading to a student.”
Public service opportunities available to everyone include dropping cans of food into Dare to Care bins at local Kroger stores, giving blood at American Red Cross sites, and donating shoes to WaterStep at locations throughout the city. WaterStep uses the shoe donations to fund providing sanitary water systems to families throughout the world.
Residents can also take part in the Brightside Community-Wide Cleanup and help clean up neighborhoods and schools on Saturday, April 13. A record 9,000 volunteers turned out last year.
Students from Jefferson County Public Schools along with independent and Catholic schools will be tackling projects of all kinds. Last year, JCPS recorded more than 48,000 volunteers and compassionate acts.
Other volunteer work will come from troops of Girl Scouts, churches and neighborhood associations. Employee teams from companies such as Yum Brands, Humana, Brown-Forman, Norton Healthcare, Raytheon, Fifth Third Bank and Texas Roadhouse will be volunteering.
Fischer said having Give A Day week as the lead-up to the world-famous Kentucky Derby Festival helps residents remember and plan for the service week each year and puts Louisville’s caring deeds in the world spotlight.
“We’re excited to have ‘Give A Day’ return this year as part of the official Festival schedule,” said Mike Berry, President and CEO of the Kentucky Derby Festival. “We know well the importance of volunteers and could not put our events on without them.”