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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: December 11, 2012


DOVER (Dec. 11, 2012) - Gov. Jack Markell joins first lady Carla Markell in calling on Delawareans to seek out special volunteer projects to mark the Governor's Week of Service, Jan. 11-21.

The Governor's Week of Service expands on the weekend of service that the Markells hosted in January 2009, in lieu of the traditional inaugural ball. To commemorate the governor's second four-year term, the Markells will take part in and promote a week of service, in addition to other inauguration events.

The week begins on Friday, Jan. 11, and will include a clean-up of the Laurel Boys and Girls Club in collaboration with the Governor's Office, the State Office of Volunteerism, United Way of Delaware and the Salvation Army.

Other events include a statewide food drive at all Delaware State Service Centers, a weeklong Martin Luther King Jr. Day Blood Drive with the Blood Bank of Delmarva, and more.

"The best way to say thank you to the people of Delaware for the privilege of being their Governor for a second term is to give back to our communities and neighbors, and to urge others to do the same." Gov. Markell said. "Carla and I believe strongly in the power of people to make a difference. To us, it doesn't matter how much time or money you give. What matters is taking the step to make this a better Delaware for everyone."

As first lady, Carla Markell has made the promotion of volunteerism one of her priorities. She urges those interested in being involved with the Governor's Week of Service to visit the Volunteer Delaware website, and to use the key words "Week of Service." Individuals and groups can log on and choose a project from either one-time or ongoing volunteer opportunities. Organizations also can register their needs or volunteer opportunities.

"Every person can make a difference in the lives of others and in their communities," Carla Markell said. "It is our hope that each citizen who volunteers that week will carry on volunteering not just for a week, but for a lifetime. We're so pleased that several Delaware organizations are joining the effort to engage our citizens in volunteer service during the Governor's Week of Service, including the State Office of Volunteerism, the Governor's Commission for Community and Volunteer Service, the Blood Bank of Delmarva, the United Way of Delaware and others. All of these efforts contribute to the powerful momentum we are building in Delaware."

The Governor's Week of Service is in addition to the annual Delaware Week of Service, scheduled for April 21-27, 2013. To register a project or to become involved with either week of service, visit

"When a family or individual needs food, shelter, or assistance with basic needs to sustain themselves, they visit our State Service Centers," said Dr. Anne Farley, director of DHSS' Division of State Service Centers. "Each year, hundreds of thousands of visits are made to our centers where we have food closets ready to help in a time of need. We rely on donations of food items to put together meals for a family for three or more days. The generosity of the public to help a fellow Delawarean is essential for us to provide the support that we do."

Rita Landgraf, secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services, which oversees the state Office of Volunteerism, praised Delaware's volunteers for their strong ties to the communities.

"The idea of human connectedness is a powerful one," Landgraf said. "Your food donation can keep someone from going hungry. Donating a unit of blood can save a life. Spending an hour reading to a child or helping out at a nonprofit in your neighborhood can impact many lives. To all Delawareans who make a difference by giving back, I simply say thank you."

For more information about the Governor's Week of Service or Volunteer Delaware, go to , or contact Carrie Hart, Volunteer Service Administrator, at (302) 857-5006. For media and sponsorship inquiries for either week of service, contact Kate Fox, Marketing and Media Coordinator, (302) 588-2970.

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.