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Spotlight

Serve Illinois LogoIllinois Ranks #1 in Volunteer Rate Among the Country’s 8 Largest States
2.57 Million Illinoisans Give $7.2 Billion in Service

The recently released 2013 Volunteering and Civic Life in America report shows that 2.57 million Illinoisans demonstrated their commitment to improving their communities by volunteering. This ranks Illinois the top volunteering state out of the eight most populated.

“Illinois has a strong tradition of neighbors helping neighbors,” said Scott McFarland, Executive Director of the Serve Illinois Commission. “Across our state, we see volunteers working in schools, helping the homeless, preparing for and responding to disasters, supporting faith-based organizations, protecting the environment, and supporting economic improvement. When communities volunteer, we see an increase in economic strength and education and a decrease in crime.”

According to CNCS, 62.6 million Americans (or 1 in 4 adults, 25.4 percent) volunteered nearly 7.7 billion hours last year. Based on the Independent Sector’s estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour, the estimated value of this volunteer service is nearly $173 billion. Volunteers are almost twice as likely to donate to charity as non-volunteers. Nearly eight in 10 (79.2 percent) volunteers donated to charity, compared to four in 10 (40.4 percent) non-volunteers. Overall, half of all citizens (50.7 percent) donated at least $25 to charity in 2013.

Merrie Dee and Teresa Haley at Award CeremonyNominate Your Volunteers for the Governor's Volunteer Service Awards!

Do you know someone who has made difference in your community? Do you know someone who gives their time to a good cause? Do you know someone who started an organization or program to help someone? Do you know a business that is giving back to their community? Nominate them for the sixth annual Governor’s Volunteer Service Award.

Individual Awards will be presented to one Youth (18 and under), one Adult (19-54 years old) and one Retiree/Senior (55+ years old) in each of the Commission's five service regions across the state (Northeast, Northwest, East Central, West Central and Southern Illinois).

National Service Awards will be presented to one AmeriCorps and one Senior Corps Member in each of the five regions (Northeast, Northwest, East Central, West Central and Southern Illinois).

Business Volunteer Engagement Awards will be presented to one business in each of the five regions (Northeast, Northwest, East Central, West Central and Southern Illinois).

Nominations are due by January 30, 2015. Winners will receive their awards at the Governor's Mansion on April 20th, 2015.



Operation AmeriCorpsServe Illinois Seeking Concept Papers for Operation AmeriCorps
Local Governments Encouraged to Apply

Serve Illinois is excited to announce a new opportunity for AmeriCorps funding. Operation AmeriCorps allows for local governments (municipalities, school districts, counties, etc.) to apply to host AmeriCorps volunteers in support of community needs. Up to $15 million in federal funds will be available to our Illinois communities to support these programs.

If your local government is interested in applying for this opportunity, the concept paper will be due to Serve Illinois on January 5th. All concept papers can be emailed to us.

Please note that this is a separate funding opportunity from the AmeriCorps*State Request for Applications that was released on October 15th.

If you have any questions, please contact our office at 800-592-9896.



AmeriCorps LogoServe Illinois Seeking AmeriCorps Applications
Request for Applications Released

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Serve Illinois Commission (Serve Illinois), in cooperation with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is now accepting applications for the “AmeriCorps*State” grant.

AmeriCorps grants are awarded to eligible organizations for the purpose of supporting AmeriCorps members and addressing community needs. An AmeriCorps member is an individual who is enrolled in an approved national service position and engages in community service. Members may receive a living allowance and other benefits while serving. Upon successful completion of their service members receive an education award from the National Service Trust.

All applicants must apply to IDPH via the Serve Illinois Commission through the eGrants and EGrAMS systems (see attached application instructions). An applicant must attend one of the four scheduled online bidders conferences. An application will not be considered for funding if an applicant did not attend the required bidders conference. It is at the discretion of the applicant to determine which to attend.



Upcoming Events

Date Event Location & Time
1/2/2015 AmeriCorps Applications Due 5:00 pm
1/5/2015 Operation AmeriCorps Concept Papers Due 5:00 pm
1/6/2015 "2015: The Year of the Volunteer" Planning Call 888-494-4032
Access Code: 4037150212

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
1/19/2014 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
1/30/2015 Governor's Volunteer Service Awards Nominations Due 5:00 pm

Featured Volunteers

Nicole Doornink

Nicole DoorninkNicole Doornink has been a life-long volunteer. In middle school, she accumulated Young Authors and Do the Right Thing Awards. At the conclusion of her middle school career she was awarded with a Presidential Community Service award to recognize her 250 hours of service that year, in addition to both the American Legion Citizenship Award and the Daughters of the American Revolution Citizenship/Historian Award. Entering High School, she continued her service by conducting a bake sale which raised $1,500 for the Feed My Starving Children Organization. She also participated heavily in Edwardsville Peer Influence Club and became a Council member her sophomore year. On behalf of this group, she was asked to conduct a campaign that raised 5,000 pairs of shoes for The Shoeman Water Project while teaching elementary through high school students about the importance of making healthy decisions. During her sophomore year, her school Orchestra teacher also asked that she conduct the Spring Concert as a fundraiser for her organization of choice. Thus, Cans for Hope Concert was created which collected thousands of canned goods as well as $2,500 for Soup for the Soul Kitchen in Cottage Hills, IL. She has kept in touch with this organization as their Student Fundraising Chair and a regular soup kitchen volunteer. In addition, throughout high school she has been serving as the student representative on the Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. At the end of last year she took on a project to create Edwardsville District 7’s First Annual Red Ribbon Run 5k, 1 Mile Fun Run, and Health Fair as a fundraiser for this group. It was a very successful event with over 150 registered runners, free food, and fun for all ages. This May, she will graduate and spend her summer planning the Second Annual Red Ribbon Run.

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