National Service Week 2014 Proclamation 

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State of Illinois Executive Department Proclamation

WHEREAS, throughout our history Illinois residents have stepped up to meet national challenges such as poverty reduction, disaster relief, environmental stewardship, and veteran assistance by volunteering in their communities; and

WHEREAS, service represents an enduring aspect of citizenship and choosing to serve one’s community is something that all citizens can do; and

WHEREAS, the national service programs AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and the Social Innovation Fund, have proven to be a highly effective ways to engage Americans of all ages and backgrounds in meeting a wide range of community needs; and

WHEREAS, each year AmeriCorps, including AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps State, AmeriCorps National, and AmeriCorps NCCC, provides opportunities for 80,000 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, AmeriCorps in Illinois last year recruited 53,600 volunteers and raised more than $4,709,200 in cash and in-kind resources; and

WHEREAS, AmeriCorps members have served a total of more than 1 billion hours nationwide since 1994, including more than 37 million served by Illinoisans; 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, each year Senior Corps, including Foster Grandparents Program, Senior Companions Program, and Retired & Senior Volunteer Program, places more than 14,000 volunteers in communities throughout Illinois; and

WHEREAS, these Senior Corps members have helped over 7,000 Illinois children to read, assisted over 18,000 seniors stay in their homes, supported over 5800 veterans, served over 8300 family members of veterans, served over 200 chidlren with special needs and supported over 2,000 organizations to better serve their communities here in Illinois; and

WHEREAS, over 3.1 million Senior Corps hours contributed each year is valued at over $70 million; and

WHEREAS, the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) mobilizes public and private resources to grow promising, innovative community-based solutions that have evidence of compelling impact in three areas of priority need: economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development; and

WHEREAS, the Social Innovation Fund has awarded $177.6 million in grants to intermediaries since 2010 yielding another $423 million in private and other nonfederal commitments; and

WHEREAS, Illinois is one of 37 states and the District of Columbia which have received SIF subgrants totaling more than $1,340,000 distributed to 11 organizations in the state; and

WHEREAS, the 2nd annual Mayor’s Day of Recognition of National Service on Tuesday, April 1st, when mayors across the nation will highlight the national service programs in their communities, is an opportune time to rally around service as a strategy to meet community needs; and

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that I, Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois, do hereby proclaim March 23 - 29 as National Service Week in Illinois, and urge citizens to salute Senior Corps volunteers, Social Innovation Fund grantees, AmeriCorps members, and AmeriCorps alumni for their service and to find ways to give back to their communities through volunteering and service.

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