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DHSS Press Release



Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@state.de.us

Date: August 20, 2014
DHSS-8-2014





DELAWARE'S AMERICORPS PROGRAM TO MARK 20 YEARS OF VOLUNTEERISM


NEW CASTLE (Aug. 20, 2014) - Delaware's AmeriCorps program will mark 20 years of volunteerism and service to the state on Sept. 12 with the swearing-in of a new group of members and by celebrating the many contributions of AmeriCorps alumni during a recognition dinner at the University of Delaware's Clayton Hall Conference Center in Newark.

The event, beginning at 5 p.m., is open to the public, alumni, current members, nonprofit organizations, prospective members or organizations, and anyone interested in learning more about the services offered through AmeriCorps. All proceeds from tickets sales and donations will further the work of the AmeriCorps program across the state.

Registration is required for attendance and open through Aug. 31, or until capacity has been reached.

Beginning in September 2013, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) launched a yearlong celebration of the impact of AmeriCorps and its 20 years of dedicated service to America. Through events, service projects and personal stories, Delaware will highlight the many contributions of AmeriCorps members and alumni, while also highlighting important moments in AmeriCorps history.

President Bill Clinton signed legislation in September 1993 creating AmeriCorps, and the first class of members began serving on Sept. 12, 1994. Working through service commissions in each state, AmeriCorps matches a member's interest to the area in which they would like to volunteer, meeting critical community needs in social services, the environment, emergency preparedness and education. Each year, more than 85,000 people join AmeriCorps. Since 1994, more than 900,000 members have contributed more than 1.2 billion hours in service.

"Over the years, AmeriCorps members have helped build a stronger Delaware," Gov. Jack Markell said. "They bring vitality, enthusiasm and a strong commitment to making a difference in our communities. In exchange, the nonprofit organizations, government agencies and schools where they serve offer them valuable on-the-job learning experiences. It's a win-win for our state."

In Delaware, the AmeriCorps program is coordinated by the Division of State Service Centers within the Department of Health and Social Services. Since 1994, more than 2,400 members in Delaware have contributed more than 3.3 million hours of service at a value of more than $66.9 million. On Sept. 12, Delaware will swear in 125 members who will serve for one year with the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs, the Delaware Economic Development Office, Habitat for Humanity, Ministry of Caring, Public Allies and Teach for America.

"For 20 years, AmeriCorps has been a remarkable force for good in our neediest communities here in Delaware and around the country," said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper. "Without the efforts of these bright young men and women who make up the AmeriCorps, many great volunteering initiatives would not happen. I am so grateful to this program and its good works."

"Welcome to AmeriCorps members who have devoted themselves to serving our communities, brightening the lives of everyone they help and improving the quality of living in our state," U.S. Sen. Chris Coons said. "For the last 20 years, the work AmeriCorps members have done in Delaware, such as improving parks, tutoring children, and working with the homeless, has made a tremendous impact on an array of needs in our community. I thank the AmeriCorps members who have served in Delaware and encourage all who are considering serving to check out an event to learn more about how they can give back."

"I'm pleased to welcome this group of dedicated young men and women to the AmeriCorps program," Congressman John Carney. "AmeriCorps members have worked to make Delaware a better place since the program began two decades ago. They serve those in need, learn valuable skills that will benefit them in the future, and set a positive example for others. I'm a proud supporter of the AmeriCorps program and know that this new group of volunteers will inspire even more Delawareans to serve."

In exchange for a year of service in Delaware (1,700 hours), members 17 and older receive:

For online ticket purchases please visit www.eventbrite.com/e/americorps-20th-anniversary-celebration-tickets-11779909025. Tickets are $50 per person or $30 for AmeriCorps Alumni using promo code AC2014.

For more information about the nationwide celebration or details on AmeriCorps, please visit www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/americorps20.

For more information about AmeriCorps, contact India S. Colon, Marketing and Media Coordinator, at the State Office of Volunteerism, at (302) 255-9745 or india.colon@state.de.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.





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