Mayor kicks off annual Give A Day celebration of volunteerism
Mayor Greg Fischer today joined representatives from SOS, Metro United Way and a variety of volunteers to kick off the annual Mayor’s Give A Day. This year’s Give A Day is a full month of giving starting today through April 30, 2021.
“We are thrilled to welcome back Give a Day, adapted for 2021, so people can demonstrate their compassion safely,” said the Mayor. “Now more than ever, acts of compassion and volunteerism are needed across our community as so many of our residents are being impacted by COVID-19. This month-long celebration of giving is an outward illustration of the compassion that is part of our city’s DNA, flexing our social muscles to help all residents reach their full human potential.”
Give A Day started as a one-day service opportunity in 2011, and then grew to a week, and in 2019, it spanned 10 days. The city set a new world record in 2019 with 235,000 volunteers and acts of compassion. This year’s Give A Day has been expanded to a full month in celebration of National Volunteer Month and to allow non-profits and volunteers more time to plan and participate in safe service projects.
With support from Metro United Way and community organizations throughout the city, hundreds of volunteer opportunities are available. Group and individual projects are offered, some may be virtual, while others are offered in-person in compliance with CDC and KY Department of Health COVID-19 guidelines to protect the health and safety of participants, and many will be outdoors.
Today’s kick-off event was held at SOS, a Louisville-based nonprofit organization that meets critical health care needs by collecting and distributing surplus medical supplies and equipment. While SOS is known for its compassionate work around the world, the organization has supported local needs and medical education for years.
“The impact SOS has in Louisville was never greater and more critical than during the pandemic. The organization has made an impressive pivot since last March to redirect even more resources and supplies to local organizations, while still maintaining our international and disaster relief efforts,” said Denise Sears, President and CEO, SOS.
SOS has donated more than $1 million of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medical supplies to local hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and emergency responders. SOS has also continued to support medical education and job training while addressing health disparities in Louisville, resulting in new partnerships with organizations like west Louisville-based Hope Wellness Center and Healthcare Essential Training Institute.
“SOS embodies so much of the best of our city – compassion, innovation, a global mindset, and a love for our hometown,” said the Mayor.
For this year’s Give a Day, SOS is offering two ways for the community to get involved. The first is a virtual First Aid Supplies Collection Drive where participants can organize a supply drive using their home or office as the collection point, and ask friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to donate items for the kits. The kits will be distributed to local families in need, disaster victims and communities across the globe. The second option is a socially-distanced volunteer opportunity in-person at SOS to sort and pack medical supplies. Participants can sign up as individuals or a small group to work a three-hour shift. Both options will have a tremendous impact, sending health and hope to people in need locally and across the globe. For a link to volunteer or start a supply drive, Text SOS to 609-212-0627.
A sampling of this year’s projects and initiatives include:
- Thousands of volunteers will join together throughout April to pick up litter and beautify the city through the Brightside Community-Wide Cleanup and Metro Parks and Recreation’s Clean-a-Thon. Register here for a Brightside cleanup and register here to participate in the Clean-a-Thon.
- To support Black Maternal Health Week, April 11-17, Play Cousins Collective and the Louisville Coalition for Black Maternal Health are holding a fundraising drive for newborn, infant and self-care essentials. More information can be found here.
- The 9th Annual WE Day Kentucky Celebration will take place online, April 14th. This year’s call to action will focus on food insecurity, encouraging all participants to collect and donate food to local organizations of their choosing.
- Join Wellspring at one of its properties in Parkland, Smoketown, Deer Park, etc. to beautify a property that houses adults with mental illness who are working toward recovery of healthy and hopeful lives. More details here.
- American Red Cross Blood Drives: The Red Cross has an ongoing need for blood and platelet donations. Make an appointment to give blood or platelets during Mayor’s Give A Day at org.
- Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) will offer a variety of projects to help residents who are experiencing food insecurity. Visit com for details on each project.
Many of the non-profit agencies have flexible dates and will work with you to find a place and time that is convenient for volunteers.
“Let’s put our compassion into action for our hometown. I encourage everyone to get involved and show the world how compassion can make a real difference in our community,” said the Mayor.
Individuals or groups wanting to find a project should visit mygiveaday.com, where projects and needs submitted by local non-profit agencies and other groups are listed. Individuals and companies should also use the website to report their own community service.