IDHS Joins National Volunteer Week

Volunteers across the state to hold special events highlighting service projects

"Celebrating People in Action." is the theme for National Volunteer Week taking place from April 19-25, 2009. The week will feature service projects and special events to bring awareness to the important work of volunteers nationwide and in Illinois.

"National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to give thanks to the volunteers who dedicate their time and/or resources to helping others in their community and beyond," said Illinois Department of Human Services Secretary Carol L. Adams, Ph.D. "Illinoisans can find a volunteer opportunity or to learn more about how to recognize your volunteers by visiting the Serve Illinois Commission website, (

Governor Pat Quinn has proclaimed National Volunteer Week in Illinois and the week is dedicated to serving others in need and honoring those who volunteer all year.

The event is a service of Points of Light Institute and is being sponsored by Target. This annual week-long event has taken place since 1974, when it was created by President Richard Nixon. President Nixon established this week for the celebration of volunteers. Every year since, mayors, governors, elected officials, and each U.S. President has promoted National Volunteer Week by signing a proclamation.

Service projects and special events will take place across Illinois and throughout the nation. A few of the events taking place in Illinois include:

  • ABC AmeriCorps will be attending the "Living the Challenge Weekend" in Rock Falls, Illinois to assist families of children with disabilities.
  • Aunt Martha's AmeriCorps will be holding a literacy event called "Springing into Reading" at Forest Trail Junior High in Park Forest, Illinois. The event will supply free books and have games and craft activities for 3 to 12 year olds.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley will be helping clean up the Humility of Mary shelter for homeless and unemployed people in the Quad Cities metropolitan area.
  • Illinois Public Health Association's AmeriCorps Members will hold a Medical Reserve Corps Volunteer Appreciation Reception to honor and thank volunteers for all their hard work throughout the year.
  • University of Illinois-Chicago's AmeriCorps Project MORE will be participating in the Dome Day event in Springfield on Wednesday, April 22 to inform people about the benefits of enrolling AmeriCorps members and gaining valuable experience serving communities in need.

Please help recognize volunteers and serve others in need during this year's National Volunteer Week in April. For more information on volunteer opportunities or the Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, please visit ( or call 800-592-9896.

Last fall, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) unveiled the Serve Illinois website - - a valuable new resource for volunteer opportunities statewide. The new website serves as a primary resource for Illinoisans who are seeking information about volunteer agencies, trainings, nonprofit resources and national service programs including AmeriCorps.

The Serve Illinois Commission administers the AmeriCorps* State programs in Illinois. Serve Illinois is funded by the federal Corporation for National and Community Service. The Serve Illinois Commission currently supports 22 AmeriCorps programs throughout the state.

For more information on AmeriCorps or Serve Illinois, visit the website at or call 800-592-9896.