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Metro Newsroom

First Give A Day Week Huge Success

Wednesday April 25, 2012

Annual volunteering event will return, April 13-21, 2013

With people of all ages engaging in volunteer actions ranging from reading to homeless children and writing letters to troops to giving food and shoes – Louisville’s first annual Give A Day week of service scored big with more than 90,000 volunteers and acts of caring.

“With those numbers, and a little mayoral latitude, I proclaim Louisville to be the most compassionate city in the world,” Mayor Greg Fischer said.

The amount of helping and giving exceeds the goal of 55,000 that Fischer had set for the week. However, he said the success of the first Give A Day goes beyond sheer numbers.

“The incredible energy and activity those nine days reminds us that there are unlimited ways for people to show caring and compassion and to help others,” Fischer said. “Give A Day serves to connect and grow the caring that already makes Louisville one of the unique places in the world.”

The numbers for Give A Day week included more than 48,000 JCPS students and teachers – often entire schools and classes – who were involved in service projects ranging from writing letters to troops overseas to collecting food and supplies for tornado victims to building a new playhouse for kids at Kosair Charities. Another 9,000 volunteers – a new record for Brightside – cleaned neighborhoods, parks and schools.

In addition to the Brightside cleanup, Give A Day activity began on April 14 with the inaugural Ali Shuffle which helped raise funds for at-risk youth to attend college. In the final service project on April 22, Ursuline Sisters and associates delivered baked cookies to individuals and families eating dinner at the St. Vincent DePaul Open Hand Kitchen.

Fischer said he’s already hearing from citizens and organizations who are excited about next year’s Give A Day event. It will again be held the week leading up to Thunder Over Louisville – April 13-21 – helping launch the 2013 Kentucky Derby Festival.

“The inaugural Give A Day initiative was a tremendous success and should have an even greater impact in years to come as an official event on the Kentucky Derby Festival schedule,” said Mike Berry, festival president and CEO. “During Give A Day, approximately 1,200 volunteers worked KDF events, contributing about 7,285 hours of service to our events. And the Festival is just getting started!”

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, “We’re proud to serve as the leader in volunteer engagement for Give a Day week -- it takes all of us working together to have strong communities and stable, independent families,” said Joe Tolan, president and CEO of Metro United Way. “Through Metro United Way, we’ve seen others all across our community join together to help make a difference that lifts us all, and this is at the heart of what we’re about, and what it means to Live United.”

Give A Day week of service -- Notable Numbers:

33,570 – number of meals packaged by volunteers in two days for sending to needy children and families around the world by the Louisville chapter of Kids Against Hunger

9,000 – Brightside volunteers (new record) who helped clean up Louisville

8,753 – shoes donated to Edge Outreach. The shoes are sold to distributors with the funds helping support Edge Outreach’s efforts to provide safe drinking water around the world. It also keeps the shoes out of the landfill.

3,209 – books donated to JCPS so that elementary and middle school students will have grade-level reading material this summer

950-- blood donations to the American Red Cross

200 – trees planted in 14 of the city’s Olmsted parks.

7 – tons of medical supplies and equipment sorted by volunteers at Supplies Over Seas and delivered to a Mexican community of 20,000 to establish the town’s first medical facility.