As the sky grew dim above Country Trace senior housing September 21, a team of volunteers shrugged off the humid air. It was Metro United Way’s Day of Action, and it made a huge impact for the residents at the affordable living community in Palmyra.
Together with volunteers from accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers in Louisville, Metro United Way’s Kim Lansdell, community giving manager, and Blue River housing staff helped transform the eight-acre property in just three hours. After flooding earlier in the year, Blue River Services staff have dedicated their time and efforts to rehabilitating the apartments and getting tenants back home. The assistance of volunteers to complete work outside was much needed and greatly appreciated by agency staff and residents.
Even after a torrential rain, the group continued working to lay landscape fabric, spread rock, shovel dirt, mulch, and plant grass and trees. Dirt also was used to fill in any dips, holes or indentations, especially around sidewalks, to help eliminate tripping hazards.
Metro United Way Day of Action is an opportunity for employers to help meet a need in the community hands-on. The event included more than 500 volunteers in seven counties and more than 30 organizations impacting 5,000 children and more than 20 non-profits in one day.
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From the energy of high-flying comic personalities, to spirited staff, consumer accolades, guest speakers and awards, the 2018 Blue River Services All-Staff In-Service was shrouded in superhero distinction.
When the agency’s nearly 400 employees gather in one room, as well over half did at Lincoln Hills Christian Church in Corydon September 12, the magnitude and impact of teamwork is palpable. It’s then that everyone is not only reminded of Blue River’s mission, but shown.
“As we grow up, we have a choice to make as to what we will do with our working lives,” said Daniel J. Lowe, President and CEO, who welcomed everyone to the mass agency training event. “You have chosen to work to help others live complete and fulfilled lives. Giving one’s own being to the service of others … People Serving People … To me, that is one definition of a hero.”
His words resonating with this year’s theme, “Be Someone’s Superhero,” Lowe also acknowledged the dedication of staff and their passion to serve.
When summoning the crowd to stand if they had been with the agency at least five years, a wave of people responded. To the surprise of many, as the ante went higher –10, 20, even 30 years – there were still people standing. Something Lowe called a true testament to those "who have chosen to dedicate their lives and careers to improving the lives of others and making our world better for all.”
Although there are 151 employees who have been with the agency more than five years, the most notable milestones this year included those of Brian Bowen and Phillip Spaulding, who both reached 20 years with the agency; Kim Perry, Director of Industries, who celebrated 25 years of service; and Julia Baylor, Director of Children’s Services, who marked an astonishing 35 years. Even President Lowe, the agency-equivalent of Batman’s Commissioner Gordon (minus the trench coat and fedora hat), has been working, behind the scenes, manning the BRS Bat-Signal to summon a beacon of service for the last 34 years.