Wednesday July 27, 2011
Event will kickoff Derby Festival 2012
Mayor Greg Fischer’s goal of creating a more compassionate Louisville took a big step today with the announcement that a city-wide week of volunteering to help others will be an official Derby Festival event starting in 2012. To help launch the new event, a week of volunteering has also been scheduled this October.
Working in partnership with Metro United Way, the new service event will be called “Give A Day”, and Fischer said the goal is for it to be the largest volunteer service-day effort in the world. “We want Louisville to be known as the most caring city, where neighbors help neighbors and people look after each other,” Fischer said. “We want as many people as possible in all areas of our city to get involved in Give A Day.”
Set for the week before Thunder Over Louisville, the Give A Day service projects will be the official start of the 2012 Derby Festival. “The Kentucky Derby Festival knows very well the importance of volunteers and we’re very excited having the ‘Give A Day’ service initiative as part of next year’s official Festival schedule,” said Mike Berry, President and CEO of the Kentucky Derby Festival. “We literally could not produce our events without a large and dedicated corps of volunteers. We’re proud to be part of this important initiative.”
To help get the “volunteer energy flowing” for the first Give A Day event, a week of service projects at Louisville non-profit and charitable agencies is being organized for Oct. 17-23.
Fischer urged citizens, businesses and civic groups to join in and volunteer – and for Louisville non-profit groups, schools and churches to identify service projects and contact Metro United Way regarding their need for volunteers to help.
"Metro United Way and our Volunteer Connection are once again proud to be a part of helping Mayor Fischer organize his volunteer service event in October and for the upcoming 2012 Derby Festival event,” said Kelly C. Garvey, Metro United Way’s Director of Engagement Initiatives. “As the region's volunteer center we are here to help both organizations find the volunteers they need and help volunteers share their time and talent with very worthy causes. Our Volunteer Connection website is ready to post organizations’ projects and is also ready to get people within our community registered as a volunteer for a project during the Give A Day event."
The response from Louisville’s business community to the Give A Day events has been tremendous, Fischer said. UPS – the city’s largest private employer and one of its most engaged corporate citizens – plans to be heavily involved as does Louisville-based Texas Roadhouse, and many other companies.
Support is also coming from auto workers in the Louisville area. “It is a great privilege for the UAW to join forces and lend a hand to the community during these Give A Day events,” said Todd Dunn, president of Local 862. “Creating a more compassionate Louisville will take a united effort from all of our citizens.”
Individuals, companies and groups can volunteer online for the Oct. 17-23 Give A Day service projects by going to www.mygiveaday.com. Agencies and organizations that have projects needing volunteers should use that same link.
The growing list of organizations that will be available for volunteers to help includes The Center for Women and Families, Dare to Care, Boy Scouts, House of Ruth, Kling Center, Catholic Charities, Brightside, Home of the Innocents, Family Scholar House, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Jewish Family and Career Services, American Cancer Society and Father Maloney’s Boys and Girls Haven.