Mayor Fischer rallies Louisville for fifth annual 'Give A Day'
New projects, ways for people to be involved in this anniversary year
Volunteers canvassing neighborhoods to install free smoke alarms and fire safety tips. A student-led Walk of Compassion. Tech experts building a new web page for the Office of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods’ One Love Louisville campaign.
Those are just a few of the many projects planned during the fifth annual Give A Day volunteer week April 16-24. Give A Day is an official Kentucky Derby Festival event, and kicks off the festival season.
Last year’s Give A Day Week of Service produced a world-record 166,000 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.
“Let’s mark our fifth year of Give a Day with a really big effort that shows the world what it means to be a compassionate community,” Fischer said. “My ultimate goal is to see every one of us – our companies, our organizations, our churches, neighborhoods, schools and individuals – jump in this year.”
This anniversary year’s projects and initiatives include:
Return of Build a Bed, an AmeriCorps-sponsored effort that builds beds for children who otherwise don’t have one. With support of nearly a dozen local companies, including K&I Lumber, this project provides a bed, bedding, books and stuffed animals – some of the basics of a good night’s sleep. Kentucky Gov. Bevin and Mayor Fischer both are creating volunteer teams to help build the beds on April 16.
The international WE Day, in partnership with WLKY, is holding a short Walk of Compassion through downtown as a Give A Day event on April 21. The public is invited to join more than 3,000 students participating in the lunch-time walk, carrying signs of compassion. Also, from April 18-21, people can drop off personal hygiene items at the Kentucky Center; WE Day students will pack and share them with Kentucky Refugee Ministries and JCPS’ resource centers.
The new Louisville data and design studio Kale & Flax is staging a 24-hour session to create – for free – a new web page for the Office of Safe & Healthy Neighborhoods’ One Love Louisville campaign.
Students from JCPS, private and Catholic schools are being encouraged to share their service work with the larger community through a new video challenge.
Joe Tolan, president and CEO of Metro United Way, said, “We're proud to continue to lead Give A Day volunteer connections, because we know that people who share their time and talent are rewarded in so many unexpected ways while they work together to build a brighter, stronger community where every child and family succeed.
“Connecting people with the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done is how everyone in our community can achieve their fullest potential through education, financial stability and healthy lives,” Tolan said. “Great things happen when we Live United!”
Individuals or groups wanting to find a project should visit www.mygiveaday.com where projects and needs submitted by local non-profit agencies and other groups are listed. Fischer urged individuals and companies 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,” he said.
The Brightside cleanup April 16 is one of the most popular ways to participate in Give A Day. Every year, thousands help clean up neighborhoods, schools and parks.
Companies and organizations of all sizes also will have employee teams in action, including Humana, Stantec Engineering, Yum! Brands, ComputerShare, Kroger and Walgreens.
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.
“Putting on nearly 70 events every year would not be possible without some 4,000 volunteers,” said Mike Berry, President and CEO of the Kentucky Derby Festival. “We know first-hand the importance of volunteerism, and it makes Give A Day week the perfect fit for our official schedule.”