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Day Of Service Exposes Need For Volunteers

Saturday is an official citywide day of service. And the event has exposed a strong need for volunteers and charity across the city.

Mayor Greg Fischer and the Metro United Way first put out the call for volunteers and projects for those volunteers to work on late last year. Kelly Garvey with the United Way says she expected about 30 nonprofits to submit projects, and about 300 people to volunteer.

But 64 projects were submitted and more than 700 volunteers signed up. Garvey says one thousand volunteers were requested, but the registration had to be closed Thursday for organizational reasons.

Garvey says volunteers are welcome to sign up for other projects on other days.

“I don’t want to give the impression that days of service are just one day here or there,” she says. “There are opportunities listed and needs happening every day.”

Fischer has said more days of service will likely be declared. Volunteers who still want to help this weekend are being asked to donate goods to the needy or volunteer with Brightside.

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Metro United Way Holds Rally to Reenergize Campaign

Although the Louisville Metro United Way’s annual fundraising campaign doesn’t wrap up until February, it’s holding a pep rally tomorrow to spur giving. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer reports.

The rally starts at 7:45 a.m. on the Old Male High School campus on Brook Street.

United Way president and CEO Joe Tolan says it’s a way to re-energize the annual campaign, which has a goal to raise as much as last year’s campaign — $28.5 million.

“We probably need about $1 million or $1.2 million in order to get to last year’s total,” Tolan says. “And the conundrum this year is when it’s harder for many people to give or to give as much as they’ve given, we have a real spike in the need for services that has occurred and continues to this day.”

Tolan says the campaign has reached about 85 percent of its goal.

Tolan says the current campaign has been much harder than most because many companies participating in workplace giving activities have fewer employees and member agencies are seeking huge increases of need.

“If you look at things like emergency food, the jump in demand is in the neighborhood of 45 or 50 percent compared to a year or so ago,” he says. “And much of that demand is attributable to individuals and families who’ve never sought help before.”

Tolan says meeting the goal is even more important to member groups that also are coping with state budget cuts to social service agencies. He says this economic recession is causing member agencies to implement new strategies and pool more resources.

“All we have to do is look at what’s happening on state budgets, both Kentucky and Indiana, for the tightening of resources there,” he says. “And so realistically we have to look forward and say ‘OK, how do we do things differently than we’ve done them? How do we find efficiencies where we can?'”

United Way officials want to get 500 people to Tuesday’s rally so that it can cash in on a pledge by E.ON U.S. to donate $5,000 or $10 for every person who attends.