News Release - January 18, 2010 

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Governor Quinn Urges Illinois Residents to Participate in Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
"Serve Illinois" Web Site Offers More than 60,000 Volunteer Opportunities

CHICAGO- January 18, 2010  Governor Pat Quinn today joined the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) and the Serve Illinois Commission in encouraging Illinoisans to take part in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.  Today, people of all ages and backgrounds will come together to improve lives, bridge social barriers, and move our nation closer to the 'Beloved Community' that Dr. King envisioned.

“Dr. Martin Luther King’s teachings and service to others can continue to guide us in addressing our most pressing needs including poverty, economic insecurity, job loss, and education," said Governor Quinn. “Through volunteerism we can work together to help strengthen our communities.”&

Persons interested in giving back to their community can use the Serve.Illinois.gov website to be connected with more than 60,000 volunteer opportunities throughout Illinois. Volunteers can visit the Serve.Illinois.gov homepage and just enter their zip code or county in which they live or work, as well as their area of interest - whether working with animals, the environment, children, education, health issues, or many other areas.

The search results will generate ongoing, one-time, and even from-home, web-based, volunteer opportunities. Then, once an opportunity is selected, one can contact the listed organization for more information on how to become one of their volunteers.

“Volunteerism helps everyone, and everyone can serve in a variety of ways” said IDHS Secretary Michelle R. B. Saddler.  “Research shows that communities with higher rates of volunteering result in decreased crime, improved governmental services, and higher educational achievement among other positive findings.  And those who engage in their communities on a regular basis live longer, healthier, and more fulfilling lives.”

Visit www.Serve.Illinois.gov to find a volunteer opportunity today as well as information regarding the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.  Serve.Illinois.gov is a project of IDHS and the Serve Illinois Commission: "Building Stronger Communities Through Service."

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