The amount of participation exceeded the goal of 55,000 that Fischer had set for the program that ran April 13-21. 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.
The numbers for Give a Day involved more than 48,000 Jefferson County Public Schools students and teachers — often entire schools and classes — in service projects ranging from collecting food and supplies for tornado victims to building a new playhouse for kids at Kosair Charities. An additional 9,000 volunteers — a record for Brightside — cleaned neighborhoods, parks and schools.
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.
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.