CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn and the Serve Illinois Commission today encouraged people across Illinois to take part in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 20. Governor Quinn today visited Spencer Elementary Technology Academy, one of Chicago Cares’ 14 sites across the city for Celebration of Service.
“Service to others is something Dr. King believed in, and it is one of the best ways we can honor his legacy,” Governor Quinn said. “I encourage everyone in Illinois to take time in the coming days and honor Dr. King by serving in their community.”
Anyone interested in volunteering this weekend can visit Serve.Illinois.gov to be connected with around 100,000 volunteer opportunities throughout Illinois.
Website visitors can search based on location or area of interest, and even generate results for ongoing, one-time or web-based volunteer opportunities. Along with listing thousands of volunteer opportunities, Serve Illinois also has several partner organizations that will be completing service projects, which include:
- Carbondale – On January 18-20, Land of Lincoln AmeriCorps Members will organize a drive to make cards to send to children in pediatric hospitals.
- Chicago – On January 20, from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., over 700 volunteers will join City Year Chicago AmeriCorps members and staff to beautify and transform two Chicago Public Schools in the Rogers Park Community: Sullivan High School and Kilmer Elementary.
- Northern Suburbs – On January 20 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., The Volunteer Center and The Kindness Connection will organize an array of projects to benefit people with critical needs. Volunteers will also make Valentine’s Day cards for Vets, flashcards for young Head Start students, and origami for hospital patients.
- Quad Cities – On January 20-21, American Red Cross, Safe Families Illinois AmeriCorps members and community volunteers will serve the River Bend Foodbank by organizing food donations and delivering meals to seniors and individuals who are homebound through Project Now.
“There’s no better time than now to volunteer and give back to the community,” Serve Illinois Executive Director Brandon Bodor said. “There are thousands of opportunities to get involved and help out on this Day of Service.”
Visit Serve.Illinois.gov to find a volunteer opportunity, as well as a full listing of partner service projects. The Serve Illinois Commission is a 40-member, bi-partisan board appointed by the Governor. Its mission is to improve Illinois communities by enhancing traditional volunteer activities and supporting national service programs, including the Illinois AmeriCorps program.
Governor Quinn and the Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service are now accepting nominations for the Annual Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards. These awards recognize individual volunteers and businesses which support community service in order to honor those who provide selfless service to the state and to highlight the importance of volunteerism and community service in Illinois.
Nominations are due to Serve Illinois by Jan. 31, 2014. Recipients will be selected and notified by April 1, 2014. Governor Quinn and the Serve Illinois Commission will host a ceremony to honor recipients on April 28, 2014 at the Executive Mansion in Springfield. Visit Serve.Illinois.gov for information about individual awards, nomination forms and more.