Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Date: January 18, 2012
DOVER (Jan. 18, 2012) - As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King's legacy this week, Delaware's First Lady Carla Markell is issuing a call to volunteers statewide to resolve to make 2012 a year of service. Mrs. Markell is being joined by Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Secretary Collin O'Mara and Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) Secretary Rita Landgraf to encourage Delawareans to make a resolution to volunteer in the new year.
"Volunteers throughout our state are strengthening our communities, mentoring our youth, helping those in need, and enhancing the health and well-being of all Delawareans," Mrs. Markell said. "As we begin a new year, I encourage more of our citizens to make a commitment to volunteer - to give of their time, energy and talents in service to others and to our state."
To help find volunteer opportunities and service projects, Mrs. Markell encourages Delawareans to visit two websites - the new Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's "Get Involved" website, www.dnrec.delaware.gov/volunteer and the updated Department of Health and Social Services' "Volunteer Delaware" website, www.volunteerdelaware.org.
"Volunteering outdoors has a tremendous impact in helping protect and conserve Delaware's precious natural resources. Outdoor stewardship projects - adopting a wetland, removing invasive species, cleaning up a beach, monitoring water quality of our rivers and streams, or educating youth, to name just a few - not only benefit our state's natural resources today, but will have lasting benefits for generations to come," said Secretary O'Mara. "By visiting our new website, volunteers of all ages, from youth groups to families to community organizations, will be able to find the right opportunity so they can make a difference."
DNREC's new "Get Involved!" website (www.dnrec.delaware.gov/volunteer) provides comprehensive information on volunteer opportunities for all ages focused on Delaware's natural heritage - both environmental and historical. The easy-to-navigate site features a month-by-month calendar of service projects and events, as well as options to search by specific topics listed alphabetically and by general categories - environmental conservation, research & monitoring, education & outreach, recreation, office & administration and internships.
"Volunteer Delaware" and its 500-plus partner organizations promote opportunities for people to volunteer, learn and lead in their communities, while enhancing the health and well-being of all Delawareans. "Volunteer Delaware" is free to the public and has many resources about the State Office of Volunteerism and the programs it promotes.
"This week we paid tribute to Dr. King's lasting legacy of service," said DHSS Secretary Rita Landgraf. "Dr. King knew that real success isn't measured by the length of our resumes or the amount of money in our bank accounts. He knew that it truly comes from the differences we make in each others' lives. We thank the thousands of Delawareans who volunteer, mentor or serve in another way. For those who are moved by Dr. King's words to make a difference now, we recommend that you go to www.VolunteerDelaware.org to find opportunities that match your interests. Serving others is the ultimate way to live the promise that Dr. King dreamed of for all of us."
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.