2011 Lilly Global Day of Service Focuses on Healthy Outdoor Living

Volunteers work around Indianapolis to improve community spaces and promote wellness
Oct 4, 2011 10:00 AM ET

(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) Indianapolis – October 4, 2011 – Thousands of volunteers from Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) will work from dawn to dusk on Thursday, Oct. 6, with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. (KIB), and 30 partner organizations to revitalize four Indianapolis corridors during the 2011 Lilly Global Day of Service.

From East 10th Street to Riverside Park and Massachusetts Avenue to the White River Trail, 46 simultaneous projects will promote healthy outdoor living by improving community spaces, advocating disaster preparedness and contributing to health and wellness initiatives.

In Indianapolis, neighborhoods on the near eastside and near westside, as well as the Lafayette Square area and Massachusetts Avenue will be the focus points of the single-day volunteer event. The scope of projects is wide-ranging, from enhancing the connectivity of trails and green spaces that encourage active lifestyles to distributing disaster preparedness and wellness resource guides door to door.

An estimated 24,000 Lilly employees from 39 countries – including 8,300 volunteers in Indianapolis – will participate in Global Day of Service activities this year. Regardless of location, each of the projects around the world is focused on improving communities where employees live and work.

"At its core, the Global Day of Service is about putting Lilly's mission of improved health into action," said John Lechleiter, Ph.D., chairman, president and CEO of Lilly. "We're proud to make a difference in Indianapolis and communities around the world. Seeing thousands of Lilly employees wearing red shirts and working on projects that will have a lasting, positive impact – for me, it doesn't get much better than that."

Why Healthy Outdoor Living?

Just 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight a few times each week can raise Vitamin D levels – which may help protect from cancer, depression and stroke(1) – but research shows that adults and children spend less time outdoors than they did 25 years ago.(2) Since living near parks and woodlands improves health and extends life span, regardless of a person's social class or income,(3) it is essential that these natural environments are welcoming, safe and encourage regular visits.

On Oct. 6, Global Day of Service volunteers will plant 3,000 trees and 18,000 plants to refresh parks, trails and Indianapolis neighborhoods, with the hope that improved green space will encourage more people to get out, get active and enjoy the many natural health benefits associated with outdoor activities.

"We are so grateful for Lilly's help to implement our vision for Indianapolis on a grand scale in one day. The beauty that is planted throughout the city will have a tremendous lasting impact on residents," said David Forsell, president, KIB. "We know that trees and plants not only provide an aesthetic improvement, but also help our air and water to be cleaner, and can help neighborhoods become safer."

Health & Wellness Initiatives

Nearly 12,000 households on the near eastside and near westside will receive a visit from 450 volunteers distributing reusable tote bags with information about disaster preparedness, wellness and neighborhood-specific community resources. This door-to-door partnership between Lilly and the American Red Cross will have the largest personal touch of any event taking place during this year's Global Day of Service.

"Anytime we are able to reach the people we serve at their homes and literally put life-saving disaster preparedness information in their hands, we consider it a victory," said John Lyter, CEO of the Indianapolis Region of the American Red Cross. "And, anytime we have the opportunity to do it with hundreds of volunteers supported by a longstanding community-conscious partner like Lilly, it's all the more rewarding."

Other activities focused on health and wellness include volunteer participation in the American Cancer Society's Cancer Prevention Study (CPS-3) at Riverside Park; building two Habitat for Humanity homes on Howard Street on the westside; and distributing meals and beautifying outdoor spaces at seven area food pantries.

Indianapolis-based Lilly employees who cannot volunteer offsite have the opportunity to participate in the Transfer of Hope walk-a-thon held at Lilly's Technology Center. The Lilly Foundation donates one dollar for each mile walked – up to $150,000 total – to each of these programs:

  • The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership – Lilly's partnership to address a highly resistant strain of tuberculosis.

  • Life for a Child – The International Diabetes Federation's program that supports children with diabetes in 26 of the world's poorest countries.

  • Indy Super Cure – The Super Bowl Host Committee's project to raise awareness of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at IU Simon Cancer Center.

List of 2011 Global Day of Service Partners
Lilly's Global Day of Service in Indianapolis represents powerful community collaboration. It brings together 30 organizations, private companies and government agencies working together to improve our city. Project partners for Healthy Outdoor Living include: 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee, Alzheimer's Association, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Arts Council of Indianapolis, Big Car, John H. Boner Community Center, Brehob Nursery, Inc., Cardno JFNew, Community Health Network, Department of Public Works, East 10th Street Civic Association, Habitat for Humanity, Indiana Sign & Barricade, INDOT, Indy-east Asset Development, Indy Parks & Recreation, Interfaith Hunger Initiative, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc., Lafayette Square Area Coalition, Lowe's Home Improvement, Marian University, Massachusetts Avenue Merchant's Association, The Mayor's Office, Riley Area Development Corporation, Sherwin-Williams, Sunbelt Rentals, West Indy Development Corporation and Wright Tree Service.


About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation is developing a growing portfolio of pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers – through medicines and information – for some of the world's most urgent medical needs. Additional information about Lilly is available at www.lilly.com.

About Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. (KIB)
KIB is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit engaging neighborhoods in environmental and community improvement projects throughout the city. KIB has a proven track record of 30 years of partnership with neighborhoods, the public sector, local philanthropists, and Indianapolis corporations. Last year, KIB engaged more than 40,000 volunteers on more than 500 projects around the city. The mission of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. is to unite people to build community and transform public spaces through aesthetic and environmental improvement. Additional information about KIB is available at www.kibi.org.



Check out LillyPad, our company blog, to see photos (part 1 and part 2) from our 2011 Lilly Global Day of Service efforts in Indianapolis. Read why this global volunteer event is one of employee David Marbaugh's favorite days of the year.    On October 6, 2011, an estimated 24,000 Lilly employees in about 40 countries volunteered to help improve the local communities where we live and work. Watch our brief video to learn more about the Lilly Global Day of Service.   (1) According to the July 2010 issue of the Harvard Health Letter, in an article titled “A prescription for better health: go alfresco.” (2) According to the August 12, 2010 article “Medical: Spending time outside has many health benefits,” by Lee Bowman for Scripps Howard News Service. (3) Ibid.