Governor Pat Quinn proclaimed March 10-18, 2012 as AmeriCorps Week in Illinois. AmeriCorps provides opportunities for adults of all ages and backgrounds to serve through a network of partnerships with local and national nonprofit groups.
"AmeriCorps volunteers dedicate themselves to service and making a difference throughout the great state of Illinois," said Governor Quinn. "On behalf of the people of our state, I thank AmeriCorps members and its alumni for their service and applaud them for their hard work and continued commitment to strengthening neighborhoods and communities every week of the year."
AmeriCorps is devoted to "Getting Things Done," and this year's AmeriCorps Week theme is "AmeriCorps Works." Activities for the week include performing service projects, spreading the word about AmeriCorps, thanking community supporters and partners, recruiting more individuals into service, as well as commending AmeriCorps members, partners, staff, friends, and alums who dedicate their time and/or resources to perform service all year long.
From neighborhood cleanups and building homes to tutoring children and signing up new volunteers, AmeriCorps alums and members are celebrating AmeriCorps Week by doing what they do best - direct service. Currently in Illinois, 2,600 members are serving. Since 1994, more than 28,000 Illinoisans have taken the AmeriCorps pledge to "get things done for America." Those members
have given back more than 33 million hours to their communities, which equates to more than $737 million in service. Once they complete their service, AmeriCorps Members are eligible for a modest education award to pay a portion of their student loans or college courses they plan to take. Over the past 18 years, Illinoisans have earned more than $83.5 million in education awards.
The following are a few projects happening around the state during AmeriCorps Week:
- Chicago - Several AmeriCorps programs will be partnering with the Chicago Greater Food Depository to assist with the sorting/packaging of donated food for distribution to GCFD's member agencies (food pantries, soup kitchens, schools and public housing facilities).
- Harrisburg - Lutheran Social Services of Illinois AmeriCorps members will be helping with tornado clean-up and distribution of supplies.
- Peoria - Children's Home Fostering Transitions AmeriCorps members will help special needs kids play basketball and other games at the Peoria Civic Center.
AmeriCorps is administered by the Serve Illinois Commission, which is operated through the Department of Human Services. The mission of the 35 member, bipartisan commission is to improve Illinois communities by enhancing traditional volunteer activities and supporting national service programs.
For a full listing of AmeriCorps Week activities with contact information, or to find a volunteer opportunity any part of the year, please visit www.Serve.Illinois.gov.