BELLEVILLE — Mayor Mark Eckert has designated Nov. 1 as Extra Mile Day in Belleville, joining a nationwide effort to encourage residents to do something for another person or the community.
Residents can take part by going the extra mile in their own life -- may it be at work, school or church -- said Jim Schneider, the city's director of human resources, training and development. Schneider also serves as the director of parks and recreation.
This year, about 350 other cities will be part of the annual event started in 2009 by the Los Angeles-based Extra Mile America Foundation. St. Louis and Chicago will also participate.
Schneider said the city of Belleville got on the nonprofit's radar for community service events like Paint the Town, Belleville Helping Belleville Service Day and the Southside Park project.
A proclamation signed by Mayor Mark Eckert recognizes that Extra Mile Day is just another way for Belleville to continue to be a "community of character." Residents and organizations contribute by "going the extra mile" through volunteerism and service.
Shawn Anderson, who founded Extra Mile America, said he hopes the event inspires residents to go above and beyond for others throughout the year, too.
"When people still somehow find the time to go the extra mile, to do a little bit more, no matter what they're going through in their personal lives, that's when things improve," Anderson said.
"Get off the status quo and work a little harder. If you want to create positive change... it's not about just looking to the government or your boss or your spouse... It's about us living that message."
In the first year of Extra Mile Day, Anderson biked from one coast to another and interviewed 200 people who have gone the extra mile in their own life.
For more information on Extra Mile Day, visit www.extramileamerica.org.
Contact reporter Jacqueline Lee at email@example.com or 239-2655. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/BNDBelleville.