Last week I had the pleasure of honoring a friend, mentor and co-worker, Mary Sullivan, at the WLKY Bell Awards. She was one of 10 chosen for her service and dedication to this community by The Spirit of Louisville Foundation. Tune in to WLKY tomorrow, October 15, from 9 to 10 p.m. to see the full presentation on all the winners. Each one chosen is unique in his or her service, but all have done great things for a great many people (and animals, too!) over many years. More than one of us wiped a tear as we heard about World War II vets being flown to their memorial free of charge, the creation of schools for children with developmental disabilities, a volunteer who drives from Leitchfield to help at Kosair Children’s Hospital and the good work happening at Trikes for Tikes to provide bikes for kids.
Mary is an inspiration to all who know her. As she tells me, she started working at Metro United Way just before I was born and has been an active member and past president of the Junior League of Louisville for 30+ years. I have seen her at mobile food pantries, deliver meals to the elderly as she has done for 20 years through the Kling Center, and swing a hammer for Habitat for Humanity. She is the consumate volunteer who treats people with dignity, runs a tight ship of volunteer projects that are well organized, and is ALWAYS the one taking the pictures rather than being in them.
Maybe we aren’t all going to be such superstars, but all are called to serve — especially at the upcoming Mayor’s Day of Service.
You can help Mayor Greg Fischer create a more compassionate Louisville by rolling up your sleeves and volunteering during the first “Give A Day” week of community service projects, October 17-23. This is a much bigger version of the Day of Service that happened this last January. I worked that day at Family Scholar House and it was a great experience.
Dozens of non-profit agencies, churches and other organizations need our help. Whether you wield a paint brush, help serve meals to kids or the elderly or sort clothing for needy families – you’ll be helping make our community a better place.
Individuals, companies and groups can volunteer online for the October 17-23 Give A Day service projects by going to www.mygiveaday.com. Agencies and organizations that have projects needing volunteers should use that same link.
Mayor Fischer and Metro United Way also announced that another Give A Day week of service will be held April 15-22, helping kick off the 2012 Kentucky Derby Festival. So save the date!
The growing list of organizations that will be available for volunteers to help includes The Center for Women and Families, Dare to Care, Boy Scouts, House of Ruth, Kling Center, Catholic Charities, Brightside, Home of the Innocents, Family Scholar House, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Jewish Family and Career Services, American Cancer Society and Father Maloney’s Boys and Girls Haven.
And there is still time to sign up!