By MAYOR GREG FISCHER
Your Voice Contributor
What are you doing for this yearâ€™s Give A Day week? People of all ages will be helping Brightside clean up neighborhoods; students will be helping collect and sort food for needy families; company employees will plant trees and paint playgrounds; there will even be a â€œflash mobâ€ with hundreds taking to the streets to raise awareness and aid the campaign against child abuse.
The week before this yearâ€™s Kentucky Derby Festival, we will again have a chance to show the world that Louisville is the most caring and compassionate city on earth! That opportunity is our second annual Give A Day week of service, April 13 through 21.
The dream for our city is to be a place of lifelong learning and great jobs; a much healthier city and an even more compassionate city. Louisville has already grown strong roots for compassion with the Festival of Faiths, the seminaries headquartered here, the Muhammad Ali Center and other organizations and initiatives. This May, weâ€™re also hosting the Dalai Lama, the worldâ€™s most iconic figure for peace and compassion. We donâ€™t need to be the biggest city in the world but we can always be the most creative and caring and use our time, energy and talents to help others.
During last yearâ€™s Give A Day week, there were 90,000 volunteers and acts of compassion which led to Louisville being named Americaâ€™s Most Livable City! This year â€“ we want to break our own
Our goal is for people in every neighborhood to be talking this up and challenging each other: â€œWhat are you doing for Give A Day week? How will you make Louisville a better place?â€
You wonâ€™t be alone â€“ people from all over Louisville are getting into the action. Scout troops and students from our public, independent and Catholic schools will tackle service projects from A to Z. Churches and neighborhood associations are joining in. Employee teams from companies large and small will be painting, fixing, building, donating and doing other volunteer work. Plus, youâ€™ll be able to give blood at dozens of American Red Cross sites, drop cans of food in Dare to Care bins at Kroger stores, donate shoes to WaterStep and much more. Thereâ€™s no excuse for not getting involved!
And itâ€™s easy to get started: just go to www.mygiveaday.com, where individuals, companies and groups can sign up to help local non-profit agencies, churches and other organizations. There are projects and needs of all kinds â€“ choose the one that appeals to you or best fits your schedule or your companyâ€™s number of volunteers.
Also â€“ please report your own community service! Does your church or company have a service project happening during Give A Day week? Let us know about it so it can count toward our new world record! Any act of kindness counts. Mowing grass for an elderly neighbor, giving clothing or blankets, reading to a student who might be struggling â€“ it all helps build a better and more
If youâ€™re a non-profit organization needing volunteer help, you can register your project on the website as well.
Give A Day week would not be possible without our partnership with Metro United Way and its Volunteer Connection which helps organizations find the volunteers they need and helps volunteers share their time and talent with worthy causes 365 days a year.
Thereâ€™s a good reason that our Give A Day week is being held as the lead-up to the Kentucky Derby Festival. The Festival, in many ways, defines the fabric of Louisville. It proves we can be best in the world â€“ not only in the quality of our fireworks display but in our spirit of volunteerism. Itâ€™s appropriate that Give A Day be part of a festival so emblematic of our volunteerism and pride.
We can do it together. Whether you have an hour or a day, you can make a difference and be part of the Give A Day movement. Volunteer. Donate. Use your time or your professional skills to help others. Whatever you do â€“ go to www.mygiveaday.com.
For more information about the Give A Day week of service, please contact Brenda Frank, Give A Day Champion at 502.574.2018 or Brenda.firstname.lastname@example.org.