LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - This weekend, March 6th, marks one year since the coronavirus pandemic really impacted the city of Louisville. Although new cases and hospitalizations are declining, the city said there’s still plenty of work to do because thousands of people are still in need of services.
It’s because of that greater need that the city is expanding its annual Give A Day event where volunteers work to help their neighbors through Louisville.
Give A Day started as one day of volunteer service in 2011. It later grew to a week, and 10 days in 2019. The city set a new world record in 2019 with 235,000 volunteers and acts of compassion.
The annual event was canceled in 220 because of COVID-19, but it’s back this March and bigger than ever.
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.
Volunteers can either help in-person or virtually through its website, here.
“Whether that’s virtual, whether that’s a contactless donation, whether that’s showing up and being socially-distant with others in our community giving back,” Metro United Way CEO Theresa Reno-Weber said. “Because while we need to be socially distant, one of our good friends at Metro United Way often says we do not need to distant ourselves from one another and the needs of this community.”
Reno-Weber joined Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Jefferson County Public Schools, GE Appliances, the Kentucky Derby Festival and a variety of volunteers to kick off the annual Mayor’s Give A Day at Broadbent Arena Thursday.
Metro United Way supports the volunteer engagement platform for the Mayor’s Give A Day by connecting those who need help with those who want to help.
The organization sent a list of this year’s projects and initiatives:
- Thousands of volunteers will join together throughout April to pick up litter and beautify the city through the Brightside Community-Wide Cleanup, one of the largest Give A Day service projects. All cleanup group participants will receive a reusable Brightside face mask in addition to cleaning supplies. Residents also can organize their own clean-ups on streets and in neighborhoods with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.
- The 9th Annual WE Day Kentucky Celebration will take place online, April 14th. Normally welcoming 2,400 students and teachers to The Kentucky Center for a celebration of students’ commitment to service and over 4,000 for the WE Walk for Compassion, this year’s online celebration will feature the greatest number and diversity of students ever. WE Day Kentucky 2021 “Change is Gonna Come - How Will You Make It Happen?” will be educational, inspirational and will highlight the youngest generation. 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.
- Presbyterian Center USA will again bring together hundreds of volunteers to assemble hygiene kits for individuals impacted by disasters in the United States and abroad.
- American Red Cross Blood Drives: During the last year, the American Red Cross has been testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. In addition to providing individuals and public health organizations more information about COVID-19, the antibody tests have been helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and who are qualified to be convalescent plasma donors. 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 RedCrossBlood.org.
- Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) will offer a variety of projects to help residents who are experiencing food insecurity:
- Student volunteers can put together “Snack Kits” to be distributed to community partners like the Hope Collaborative and Boys and Girls Club locations.
- Volunteers can help stock a newly installed neighborhood pantry at Minors Lane Elementary, 8510 Minor Lane.
- Volunteers are also needed to make sack lunches for homeless outreach efforts. RAK provides 175 sack lunches every Wednesday for homeless outreach.
- Participants are needed for the Dinner On Us Project, which includes making dinner baskets as an encouragement and a ‘thank you’ to local healthcare heroes.
Click here for details on each project.