SPRINGFIELD – Monday, April 16, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today joined the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Serve Illinois Commission in encouraging Illinoisans to give back to their communities by volunteering during National Volunteer Week, April 15-21, 2012. Those who are interested in volunteering can find a resourceful search portal that connects them to over 100,000 volunteer opportunities throughout Illinois by visiting Serve.Illinois.gov.
“Service to others is the rent we pay for our place on earth,” Governor Quinn said. “National Volunteer Week is the perfect opportunity to give back, set a great example for others and work together to strengthen our communities.”
According to the Volunteering in America Report, last year nearly 2.8 million Illinoisans gave back through churches, non-profits, businesses, little leagues, scout troops and countless other organizations. They volunteered 378.5 million hours, or about 34.8 hours per person. This service equates to over $8.4 billion in economic impact. Along with time, a majority of Illinoisans gave at least $25 to a local charity.
"We believe that service is one of our State's greatest resources,” Scott McFarland, deputy director of the Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, said. “We envision an Illinois where everyone recognizes their ability and responsibility to help strengthen their communities by volunteering."
Research shows that communities with higher rates of volunteering see decreased crime, improved governmental services and higher educational achievement among other things. In addition, evidence supports the idea that those who engage in their communities on a regular basis live longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives.
The Serve.Illinois.gov website is a project of DHS and the Serve Illinois Commission: "Building Stronger Communities Through Service.” More information and volunteer opportunities can be found at Serve.Illinois.gov.