The proper recognition of volunteers is an important component in any volunteer program, large or small. With ongoing issues relating to volunteer retention nationwide and in all types of organizations, the Commission encourages some form of appropriate volunteer recognition. To that end, the following is available through the Commission:

Governor's Volunteer Service Awards

Serve Illinois presents "The Governor's Volunteer Service Awards". These awards recognize individual volunteers through a statewide award program to highlight the importance of volunteerism and community service in the State of Illinois.

Governor's Hometown AwardsHomeTown Awards Logo

After a two year absence, the Governor’s Hometown Awards (GHTA) program has transitioned from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to the Serve Illinois Commission. The Governor’s Hometown Awards program gives formal recognition to those that contributed to their community’s quality of life via projects that have strong volunteer support, met a need, and made a definitive impact.

Serve Illinois, the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, is excited to be able to tie GHTA to its mission to improve Illinois communities by enhancing volunteerism and instilling an ethic of service throughout the State.

The program application is due by August 1, 2017. ​

Volunteer Recognition Certificates

These certificates, printed in full color on ivory parchment paper, are provided free of charge to volunteer programs in Illinois. Each certificate includes a name blank to be completed by the program, and the signatures of the Governor of Illinois, the Illinois Department of Human Services Secretary, and the Chair of the Commission. The certificates are available year-round by contacting the Commission at 800-592-9896 or e-mail us.

National Volunteer Awards

There are several awards for individuals and programs in the National Service field, available through the Corporation for National and Community Service. The top recipients in each category are often recognized at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service each summer.

Volunteers can also track their service hours and apply for a President's Volunteer Service Award, available through USA Freedom Corps. This presidential initiative was launched as part of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation in 2003 and is appropriate for those serving a certain number of hours per year in a registered volunteer program.

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Other Awards

Many corporations and other private/service organizations recognize volunteerism on a local, state and/or national level. The Commission is always interested in helping recognize and promote awareness of such awards. Those programs known at this time are available by following the links below:

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