"The heart of America is the heart of a volunteer," Quinn said. "Our
Volunteer Service Awards is one way of recognizing the volunteer
stars whose energy and tireless compassion remind us how one person
can truly make a difference. If you know of a special volunteer, I
invite you to nominate them for this special award."
Volunteering in America, at least 2.73 million Illinois residents
performed some volunteer activity or community service in 2012, an
impact valued at $6.6 billion – enough money to purchase three space
shuttles and the Chicago Cubs, with some money still left over.
Last year's recipients of the Governor's Volunteer Service Awards
included Senior Corps member
Ruth Hieronymus of Atlanta, who has been a Foster Grandparent in
two second-grade classrooms for eight years; west-central Illinois
seventh-grader Sophia Marcolla, who organized "Picks for Pups" to
help the Quincy Humane Society; James "Major" Adams, a World War II
veteran from northeast Illinois who mentored countless youths at
Chicago's Henry Horner Homes; Jackie Whitworth, an AmeriCorps VISTA
member in Freeport who organized a community group for low-income
residents and an after-school writing program for youth; and South
Beloit's Finnegan's RV Center, whose "Vets' Roll" project transports
aging veterans to Washington, D.C., for the chance to visit the
national memorials that commemorate their sacrifice and the
sacrifice of their fellow service members.
Individual awards will be presented to one youth 18 years and
under, one adult 19-54 years old, and one retiree or senior 55 years
and older in each of the commission's five service regions in the
state: Northeast, Northwest, East Central, West Central and
Southern. National Service Awards will be presented to one
AmeriCorps and one Senior Corps member in each of the five regions.
One award will be provided to a for-profit business in each of the
five service regions. Within each category, applications will be
given special priority based on six areas: economic opportunity,
education, environmental conservation, disaster preparedness and
response, health, and veterans affairs.
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Nominations are due to Serve Illinois by Jan. 31. Visit
Serve.Illinois.gov for the
nomination forms and more information. Recipients will be
selected and notified by April 1. The governor and the Serve
Illinois Commission will host a ceremony to honor recipients on
April 28 at the executive mansion in Springfield.
The Serve Illinois Commission is a 40-member bipartisan board
appointed by the governor and administered by the Illinois
Department of Human Services. Its mission is to improve Illinois
communities by enhancing traditional volunteer activities and
supporting national service programs, including the Illinois
"All citizens have an opportunity to recognize their ability and
help strengthen their communities through voluntary service. Through
Serve Illinois, we expand volunteerism throughout rural, suburban
and urban Illinois, and involve people of all backgrounds, cultures
and ages," said Brandon Bodor, executive director of Serve Illinois.
[Text from file received from the