By Carrie Vittitoe
Brenda Frank, special assistant to Mayor Greg Fischer, has seen Louisvillians give their hearts in service since 2011 when the mayor adopted the goal to make the city more compassionate. At first, people were confused by the concept of a compassionate city. “People shook their heads and said, ‘What do you mean?’” Brenda says. One of the primary ideas in making Louisville more compassionate was to ask residents to engage in acts of service.

When the city promoted its first Day of Service, its goal was for people to engage in 55,000 acts of compassion throughout the city. To the mayor’s delight, 90,000 acts of service were accomplished. Brenda says the mayor is never one to rest on his laurels, so the goal increased with astounding results. In April 2017, Louisvillians performed 180,000 acts of compassion on the Day of Service, with 58,000 of those acts being done by students.

Brenda says community organizations and businesses have been part of the success of the Day of Service project. “JCPS really got on board with almost every school participating,” she says. Other community partners include Metro United Way, Brown-Forman, UPS, and the Kentucky Derby Festival.