AmeriCorps Week 2013 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 conditions mean more Americans are facing hardships, and volunteering and national service are 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 programs, including AmeriCorps*State and National, AmeriCorps*VISTA and AmeriCorps*NCCC, provide opportunities for 75,000 citizens across the nation, including approximately 3,600 in Illinois, to give back in an intensive way to our communities, our state, and our country; and

WHEREAS more than 800,000 men and women across the nation, including more than 30,000 from Illinois, have taken the AmeriCorps pledge to “get things done” since 1994; and

WHEREAS those AmeriCorps Members have served a total of more than 1 billion hours nationwide, including more than 37 million served by residents from Illinois; which equates to more than $842.5 million in impact for Illinois, by helping improve the lives of our state’s most vulnerable citizens, strengthening our educational system, protecting our environment, and contributing 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 800 in Illinois; and

WHEREAS AmeriCorps Members in Illinois last year recruited over 19,000 volunteers, tutored or mentored more than 112,000 disadvantaged children, provided more than 1.3 million hours of service valued at nearly $30 million, and helped to leverage more than $14 million in cash and in-kind resources; and

WHEREAS residents of Illinois have earned more than $93.8 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards to help pay for college or pay back student loans since 1994; 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 9-17, 2013, 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 9-17, 2013 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 at www.Serve.Illinois.gov.

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