Give A Day Week Produces Over 166,000 Volunteers, Acts of Compassion
The volunteer projects ranged from helping distribute toys to needy kids to renovating abandoned houses for deserving families to repairing bicycles for use by refugees. Those and many other projects and deeds produced more than 166,000 volunteers and acts of compassion during Louisville’s fourth annual Give A Day week of service which ended April 26.
The amount of helping and giving broke Louisville’s own record of 150,000 volunteers and acts of compassion set last year in April. Mayor Greg Fischer said the creativity of compassion was impressive and inspiring.
“There were huge projects like providing toys to 3,000 families with children to small groups writing letters to seniors in nursing homes and to elementary students creating a read-a-thon to raise money for child abuse,” Fischer said. “Each year it’s remarkable and touching to see the many ways that the people of Louisville reveal their caring and positive nature and reach out to help others.”
The numbers for Give A Day week included more than 68,000 JCPS students and teachers – often entire schools and classes – who were involved in service projects ranging from writing letters to troops overseas to collecting and sorting food for the hungry to raising money to fight child abuse to helping build a Habitat for Humanity house. And a record number of people – more than 12,400 – joined the Brightside communitywide cleanup removing litter and debris from hundreds of neighborhoods, parks and schools.
Fischer said he’s already hearing from citizens, organizations and companies making plans for the 2016 Give A Day event. It will be held the week leading up to Thunder Over Louisville, April 16-24, helping launch the 2016 Kentucky Derby Festival.
“Two of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s largest events happened during this year’s Give A Day week,” said Mike Berry, KDF president and CEO. “Both Thunder Over Louisville and the Marathon/miniMarathon were a huge success thanks to the more than 3,225 volunteers who put in nearly 15,000 hours of volunteer service. We appreciate their support and know we couldn’t put on our events without them.”
Fischer said the success of Give A Day would not have been possible without the support and coordination of Metro United Way, which matched volunteers with needy projects and organizations through the website, www.mygiveaday.com.
“We’re proud to serve as the leader in volunteer engagement for Give a Day week. Our mission at Metro United Way is simple – to improve lives and our community by engaging people to give, advocate and volunteer,” said Joe Tolan, president and CEO of Metro United Way. “In the end, we will achieve our vision – a community whose people achieve their fullest potential through education, financial stability and healthy lives – by working together. And that’s what it means to Live United.”
2015 Give A Day week of service -- Notable Numbers:
50,778 – meals packaged by volunteers for Kids Against Hunger
12, 418 – Brightside volunteers who helped clean up Louisville
5,000 – pounds of shoes donated to WaterStep to help provide safe drinking water around the world
1,100 – stuffed animals for kids in crisis by Kosair Charities and its “Bears on Patrol” program
396 – boxes of medical supplies sorted by volunteers for Supplies Over Seas which sends the supplies and equipment to areas in need worldwide
155 -- bicycles donated to the Pedal Power Project to provide basic transportation for new refugees to Louisville
25 – “Little Libraries” built by Diversified Services and volunteers organized by Metro United Way. The libraries will help bring more books to the California and Park Hill neighborhoods in West Louisville
6 – abandoned houses renovated/new homes built for needy families by Habitat for Humanity of Metro Louisville and Fuller Center for Housing