Beside SliderUncategorized



Louisville, Kentucky has served as Hand in Hand’s headquarters since the organization was founded in 1999. After years of providing support services for our regional and international programs we decided it was time to develop a program for our own city. We invite you to join us for a Louisville experience where you can explore our unique culture and help to enhance relationships through projects with community stakeholders and residents.  

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” – Muhammad Ali, Louisville’s Hometown Hero

Louisville Intro Video 

Learn more about our programs
AppalachiaBelize | Nicaragua

Our Work in Louisville

When we first launched our Louisville program in 2016, we didn’t have a specific goal in mind. We knew we wanted to develop a program that would help people living in marginalized communities in our city. We also wanted volunteers to be a big part of our response because building relationships across cultural boundaries is a founding principle of everything we do at Hand in Hand. Our first step was to move our headquarters to a West End neighborhood so we could listen and learn. So, we could find out what the community wants and needs and determine our best course of action for meeting those needs.

It has a been a journey of discovery filled with challenges, setbacks, and victories. We thought we could replicate our home repair program in Eastern Kentucky. We soon learned that home repairs were a complicated, costly endeavor in an urban setting. We looked for another way. We met some elderly folks who love their homes, but mobility issues were essentially trapping them in those homes. We started building a few wheelchair ramps and replacing crumbling steps and the phones started ringing. At that point we shifted our project focus for residents from general home repairs to safety and accessibility projects.

Once we built a few ramps. local non–profit organizations started asking if our volunteers could help them build a ramp, a shed, a fence, or paint a dugout. Because these organizations share our passion for supporting our community we said yes. We refer to these organizations as community stakeholders. It’s been a great way for us to multiply our impact in the community.

Our work with residents and community stakeholders begins and ends with volunteer groups who donate their time, talent, and yes, treasure to support our Louisville Program. As our youngest program we are still evolving, growing, and learning. We do hope you join us one day to help us build a stronger Louisville one person, one neighborhood at a time.


Residents: Our primary objective with residents is to make their homes safe and accessible by building wheelchair ramps, installing safety bars in bathrooms, repairing steps, installing handrails, and building fences.



Community Stakeholders: We do light construction projects for community stakeholders, which allows us to offer support for youth sport programs, childcare centers, programs to support victims of human trafficking, home ownership programs, violence prevention programs and other neighborhood initiatives. We love collaboration!


Participants: They are the lifeblood of our Louisville Program. They volunteer their time. They help cover the costs associated with our projects. But, most importantly, they meet people. They see new things. They open their hearts and minds to people who may not look like them, think like them, or live like them. In a world where division is the norm, we seek to bring people together.


Service Opportunities


We welcome small groups of eager participants to help us meet the needs of residents and community stakeholders for a brief, or extended immersion experience. We can customize your experience to meet your group’s specific needs. Check out our guidelines below to help you get started.


Day Trip:

*Ideal for school groups (high school and college age), business teams, church groups and individuals looking for an introduction to Hand in Hand and our work in Louisville. To ensure a productive experience for youth groups we maintain a 4:1 adult to student ratio. Maximum group size: 18

  • Half-Day, 4- hour experience: 9am-1pm
  • Full-Day, 6- hour experience: 9am-3pm
  • Includes project materials, staffing and a t-shirt
  • $50 per person

Overnight/Multi-Night Trip Experience: 

*Ideal for school groups, church groups, individuals looking for an introduction to Hand in Hand and our work in Louisville. Maximum group size: 18

  • Full overnight stay, 24-hour experience: 9am-9am 
  • Includes project materials, staffing, one dinner, continental breakfast and lunch items to pack a lunch
  • Multi-night stay includes project materials, staffing, a welcome meal, a t-shirt, and kitchen staples
  • $75 per person/per night

5-night Retreat: 

*Ideal for university teams looking for an alternative break or summer youth groups. Maximum group size: 18

  • Sunday-Friday experience 
  • Includes project materials, staffing, a t-shirt, one-two evening meals, and kitchen staples
  • $300 per person

Our Louisville Program staff will work with you to customize your experience and will accompany you each day. Most cultural excursions, evening activities and meals are the responsibility of the visiting teams.  Click here to take a virtual tour of the Louisville Retreat Center!


With each of these options your group of up to 18 participants will have an opportunity to work on a project for a resident or community stakeholder. Our Louisville Program staff will offer safety training and oversight to help your group with your project. The only skill needed is a willing heart. 



In addition to working on projects for homeowners and/or community stakeholders there are opportunities to volunteer with community stakeholders, learn about challenges and opportunities for change in our city, and visit cultural sites like the Muhammad Ali Center, Churchill Downs, and the Louisville Slugger Museum.



Ok – I’m interested. What should I do next?

If you’d like to learn more about scheduling your group for a Louisville Experience, contact Allison Ridenour, or call our office at 502-459-9930.


We Love Our Groups

Below are the groups that have joined us for a Louisville immersion experience.

The High School of St. Thomas More (IL)                                        University of Louisville Green Initiatives Committee 
Boston University (MA)                                                                       Knights of Columbus – Ava Council #15931 
Kent State University (OH)                                                                 YouthBuild Louisville
Rockhurst University (MO)                                                                 Our Lady of Lourdes School
St. Raphael School                                                                               Villanova University (PA)
Northeast Christian Church                                                                Abel Construction
Middletown Christian Church                                                              Louisville Collegiate School
The Ulster Project (Ireland)                                                                 DeSales High School Student Services Faculty
St. Marks Catholic Church (KY)                                                          Assumption High School
Old Capitol United Methodist Church (IN)                                        Mercy Academy
St. Patrick School                                                                                 Sacred Heart Academy
Beargrass Christian Church                                                                Trinity High School
University of Louisville Speed School                                                St. X High School
Rutgers University (NJ)                                                                       St. Meinrad Alumni Association
St. Meinrad Catholic Church (IN)                                                       St. Boniface Catholic Church (IN)
AmeriCorps Delta                                                                                Hyatt House – Louisville East
St. Frances of Rome Church and St. Leonard Church                    Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting
St. Nicholas Academy                                                                         Passport Health Plan
Immaculate Conception (IL)                                                               Crossroads GO Local
Bingham-Greenbaum Doll                                                                  Schneider Electric
Dean Dorton                                                                                         Bellarmine University
Graybar Electrical Supply Company                                                  The MOVE Realty Group
St. Mary’s Academy                                                                             All Saints Parish (IN)
Neustar, Inc.                                                                                          St. Cecilia School (IN)
West End School

We Love Collaboration

Below are the Community Stakeholders we have worked with on various ‘wish list’ projects:

Access Justice
A Hand Up Community Resource Center
Christ the King Catholic Church
Church of the Promise
Community Catholic Center
DELTA Developing Educated Leaders Through Athletics
Elim Baptist Church
Good Shepherd Catholic Church
Greater New Beginnings Church
Habitat for Humanity
Louisville Grows
Nativity Academy
Parkland Boys and Girls Club
Portland Museum
Portland Youth Baseball
Sister Visitor Center
Yearlings Club
West Louisville Tennis Club


Community Connectors Monthly Volunteer Program

Are you a stay at-home parent, retiree, student or just looking to get involved once a month? Join us the 3rd Thursday of each month to work on a community project. Groups work on a variety of projects: safety & accessibility projects, small repair projects around our office, painting, etc. Skills are not necessary. 

Contact John Fitzgerald, for more information or call 502-459-9930.

*All dates are from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.*

2023 Dates 

  • March 16
  • May 18
  • June 15
  • July 20
  • August 17
  • September 21
Exploring Cultural Differences Program - Book Club

Hand in Hand is working toward a more just and peaceful world, one in which all members of our communities are able to thrive. Working to this end has led us in the past year to explore different learning opportunities. Members of our staff and our board went through a JUST FAITH: Faith and Racial Equity curriculum, an 8-week study on Faith and Race, where we were challenged to learn the truth of our delicate and often painful history. We believe we must learn from our past wounds in order to achieve a more peaceful and just future. 

Since that initial study our group formed a Hand in Hand Book Club. We read a book and then we gather to discuss. With each book and with each discussion group members are challenged with the status quo, group members are challenged to see others differently, to listen more, to look within at how we are contributing to systemic issues of our society and look to find ways to join in the work of restoration. If you are interested in joining our group and joining in the learning journey, please contact Luke Chase, we would be happy to have you. 

Here are the books we have read so far:
I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
The Colors of Culture: The Beauty of Diverse Friendships by MelindaJoy Mingo
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo 
The Warmth of Other Sons by Isabel Wilkerson
The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee
How to Heal Our Divides by Brian McLaren, Diana Bass, Brian Allain
Rethinking Incarceration by Dominque Gilliard
Barking to the Choir by Gregory Boyle
The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby
One Blood by John Perkins
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Subtle Acts of Exclusion: How to Understand, Identify, and Stop Microaggressions by Tiffany Jana 

Up Next: Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond  

A next step for this group is to gather with Community Faith Leaders to continue our journey of learning. These Faith and Justice Sessions will focus on issues relevant to West Louisville, and will challenge us to grow in our understanding, our empathy, our involvement in restorative work. Topics will range from Redlining, Education, West Louisville Church History, Christian Community Development, etc. 

If you’d like to learn more, contact Luke Chase, Louisville Program Coordinator.


Get Involved
  • Donate Now! Your gift helps with ongoing program expenses
  • Check out our Amazon wish list here
  • Like us on social media

“I loved going to the Free 2 Hope House [community partner] and helping cement the sidewalk. I also very much enjoyed every speaker we heard and learned a lot from them. The tour of Louisville also was impactful because I truly felt more in touch with a city I did not know much about.” – Aly, immersion trip volunteer

“There are just no words to tell you how grateful we are for all that you do. My heart is so full.” – S.R., family member of homeowner assisted

“The ‘pros’ in the group made me feel welcome and useful. Great group of guys. I enjoyed talking to Myra and learning some of her history, too.” – Cindy, service day volunteer