AmeriCorps Week 2012 Proclamation 

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State of Illinois Executive Department Proclamation

WHEREAS service to others is a hallmark of the American character, and throughout our history citizens have stepped up to meet our challenges by volunteering in their communities; and

WHEREAS the current economic downturn means more Americans are facing hardships, and volunteering and national service is needed more than ever; and

WHEREAS the AmeriCorps national service program has proven to be a highly effective way to engage Americans of all ages and backgrounds in meeting a wide range of community needs and promotes the ethic of service and volunteering since its creation in 1994; and

WHEREAS each year AmeriCorps, including AmeriCorps*VISTA and AmeriCorps*NCCC, provides opportunities for 75,000 citizens across the nation, including approximately 2,675 in Illinois, to give back in an intensive way to our communities, our state, and our country; and

WHEREAS more than 775,000 men and women across the nation, including more than 28,000 from Illinois, have taken the AmeriCorps pledge to “get things done for America” by becoming AmeriCorps Members since 1994; and

WHEREAS those AmeriCorps Members have served a total of more than 1 billion hours nationwide, including more than 33 million served by residents from Illinois; which equates to more than $737 million in service, helping to improve the lives of our state’s most vulnerable citizens, strengthen our educational system; protect our environment, and contribute to our public safety, and;

WHEREAS AmeriCorps members serve with more than 14,000 nonprofit, community, educational, and faith-based community groups nationwide; including more than 300 in Illinois; and

WHEREAS AmeriCorps in Illinois last year recruited 36,700 volunteers, tutored or mentored more than 89,360 disadvantaged children, provided more than 1.5 million hours of service valued at nearly $35 million, and raised more than $19 million in cash and in-kind resources; and

WHEREAS residents of Illinois have earned more than $83.5 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards to help pay for college or pay back student loans; and

WHEREAS AmeriCorps members, after their terms of service end, remain engaged in our communities as volunteers, teachers, public servants, and nonprofit leaders in disproportionately high levels; and

WHEREAS the Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service and the Corporation for National and Community Service play a key role in determining where AmeriCorps resources should be directed to meet state and local needs; and

WHEREAS, AmeriCorps Week, March 10 through 18, 2012, is an opportune time for the people of Illinois to salute AmeriCorps members and alums for their service; thank AmeriCorps' community partners; and bring more Americans into service;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that I, Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois, do hereby proclaim March 10-18, 2012 as AmeriCorps Week in Illinois, and urge citizens to thank AmeriCorps members and alumni for their service and to find ways to give back to their communities.

 
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