Wednesday April 23, 2014
Annual volunteering event will return, April 11-19, 2015
With volunteer projects ranging from packaging meals for hungry families to building beds for children without one to renovating abandoned houses for needy families, Louisville’s third annual Give A Day week of service had a big impact throughout the community and produced more than 144,000 volunteers and acts of caring.
The amount of helping and giving broke Louisville’s own record of 107,000 volunteers and acts of compassion set last year in April. Mayor Greg Fischer, who visited and participated in many of the volunteer efforts, was impressed with the response.
“At every project, I saw incredible energy and teamwork by people of all ages from every part of the community who often were coming together to help people they didn’t even know,” Fischer said. “It told the real story of Louisville, a shining example of how good and positive this community can be.”
The numbers for Give A Day week included more than 57,000 JCPS students and teachers – often entire schools and classes – who were involved in service projects ranging from writing letters to troops overseas to packaging meals for the hungry to helping build a Habitat for Humanity house. More than 10, 500 Brightside volunteers cleaned neighborhoods, parks and schools.
Fischer said he’s already hearing from citizens, organizations and companies making plans for the 2015 Give A Day event. It will be held the week leading up to Thunder Over Louisville, April 11-19 – helping launch the 2015 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 2,700 volunteers who put in over 14,000 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.”
Give A Day week of service -- Notable Numbers:
101,601 – meals packaged by volunteers for Kids Against Hunger
10, 531 – Brightside volunteers who helped clean up Louisville
6,000 – stuffed animals for kids in crisis by Kosair Charities and its “Bears on Patrol” program
5,000 – pounds of shoes donated to WaterStep to help fund providing safe drinking water around the world
1,615 – backpacks donated for students in need through a drive organized by the PGA for Blessings in a Backpack
1,000 – family literacy kits assembled by volunteers organized by Metro United Way. The kits will be used by families to help prepare youngsters for kindergarten
200 – beds constructed by the Build A Bed team including AmeriCorp, YouthBuild, Student Support Services and The Healing Place. Beds, including mattress, bedding, books and a stuffed animal, went to JCPS students who are literally sleeping on the floor at home
450 – trees planted by Brightside, Louisville Grows and UPS volunteers
8 – abandoned homes renovated or built for needy families by Habitat for Humanity of Metro Louisville and Fuller Center for Housing.