Gov. Pat Quinn and the Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service have announced the winners of the 2014 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award.
The prestigious award recognizes volunteers and volunteer programs that have made a difference in Illinois, and highlights the importance of community service. The announcement is part of the governor’s agenda to promote volunteerism and an ethic of service throughout Illinois.
“Every day across Illinois, thousands of volunteers donate their time and work hard to help others and build stronger communities,” Quinn said. “Today we are honoring these individuals who donate their time to make our communities better and set an example for others with their initiative, creativity and energy.”
Monday 23 individuals and four businesses were honored during a special reception at the Executive Mansion in Springfield. Awardees range from a seventh-grader who bought laptops for disabled veterans to a retiree who tests water quality. Additionally, National Service Awards were presented to one Senior Corps member and one AmeriCorps volunteer in each region. This year marks the second time that the Business Volunteer Engagement Awards will be presented in each region.
Nicole Doornink of Glen Carbon won an award for service to: ASAP Coalition. During her high school career, Doornink has organized bake sales for hungry children, raised 5,000 shoes for the Shoeman Water Project, volunteered in a soup kitchen and organized a 5K race.
The Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards focus on five areas: Economic Opportunity, Education, Environmental Conservation, Disaster Preparedness/Response, Health and Veterans’ Affairs. Individual awards in each of the commission’s five service regions (Northeast, Northwest, East Central, West Central and Southern Illinois) are presented in three categories: youth ages 18 and under, adults ages 19 to 54 and seniors ages 55 and older.
The Serve Illinois Commission is a 40-member, bipartisan board appointed by the Governor and administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services. Its mission is to improve Illinois communities by enhancing traditional volunteer activities and supporting national service programs, including the Illinois AmeriCorps program.
“Volunteerism is what makes life worth living, and I am proud to say that Illinois has a vast number of people that are working daily to improve all of our lives,” Serve Illinois Executive Director Brandon Bodor said. “Through Serve Illinois, we hope to expand volunteerism throughout rural, suburban and urban Illinois, and involve people of all backgrounds, cultures and ages.”
More than one in four Illinois residents volunteer at least once a year. The value of these volunteer efforts has been estimated at 286 million hours or $6.3 billion.
Below is a list of the 2014 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award recipients. Recipient biographies can be found on Serve Illinois’ website at Serve.Illinois.gov.