Louisville is breaking its own records for volunteerism and acts of compassion

When it comes to world records, Louisville, which bills itself a “Compassionate City,” is not willing to rest on its laurels.

Since 2013, the city has claimed the world record for the numbers of volunteers and acts of compassion it has logged within its Give a Day Week. Last week was the sixth annual Give a Day week, an event started by Mayor Greg Fischer when he took office in 2011 as a single-day event.

This week, the city announced that it had set a “new world record with over 180,000 volunteers and acts of compassion.”

“I dare say Louisville’s accomplishment within the Charter for Compassion is a world record,” Marilyn Turkovich, director of Charter for Compassion, told Insider in an email. “The Compassion Games has a mapping report system and we don’t have any other cities that are in this range.”

Indeed, the city broke its own world record of 175,000 volunteers and acts of compassion set in 2016. It had 166,000 in 2015; 144,000 in 2014 and 107,000 in 2013.

Entire schools and classes performed acts of service during the week this year. Hundreds gathered at Meyzeek Middle School to build beds for JCPS school children who didn’t have one. Mayor Greg Fischer, who launched Give a Day Week, and Dr. Barry Kerzin, one of the Dalai Lama’s two personal physicians, who was visiting for the Festival of Faiths, helped a small volunteer group mow the lawn at Eastern Cemetery.

“The beauty of this annual Week of Service is that it puts a spotlight on the compassion that we know happens in this community every single day, though we might not always see it,” Mayor Greg Fischer said in a news release. “Every year, I learn about new things that people are doing throughout this community to help build each other up, and it’s amazing.”

The Kentucky Derby Festival and Metro United Way are partners in promoting and facilitating the event.

Numbers released by the city include:

  • 52,248 – Meals packaged by volunteers at Love the Hungry
  • 40,000 – Pounds of supplies donated for the Love from Louisville effort to send goods to refugees in Greece
  • 30,000 – Meals donated through Kroger and Dare to Care food drive
  • 20,000 – Personal hygiene kits created and distributed to JCPS and KRM, as part of WE Day
  • 17,000 — Brightside volunteers who helped clean up Louisville
  • 100 — Bicycles donated to and refurbished by the Pedal Power Project to provide basic transportation for new refugees to Louisville