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DHSS Press Release

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

Date: April 24, 2013


LAUREL (April 24, 2013) - An open house at the Laurel Boys & Girls Club on April 27 will highlight Global Youth Service Day in Delaware and offer the public a chance to see improvements to the club and to volunteer for additional projects. The event, part of the Delaware Week of Service, will bring together volunteers, Boys & Girls clubs officials, community members, businesses, organizations, MERIT students, AmeriCorps members and Foster Grandparents.

Activities begin at 10 a.m. Saturday and include planting trees and vegetable gardens, and building a pergola. Lunch is being provided by Jonathan's Delight's BBQ and community organizations will have information displayed about their programs. In the afternoon, Boys & Girls Club members will display their science projects and showcase their new and improved club.

In January, more than 200 volunteers, including Gov. Jack Markell and members of his Cabinet, worked on improvements to the club as part of the Inaugural Week of Service.

Saturday's event, in celebration of Global Youth Service Day, is sponsored by the Department of Health and Social Services, the State Office of Volunteerism, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, Delaware Nature Society, The Boys & Girls Club and Youth Service America.

"We are thrilled by the work that has been done at the Laurel Club," said Chris Couch, executive director of the Western Sussex Boys & Girls Clubs. "The painting, gardening, and general cleanup have drastically improved the condition of our club. We now have a cheery, friendly environment for our youth to thrive in. In addition, thanks to a generous donation of refurbished laptop computers from UnitedHealthcare, we will also take a giant step toward narrowing the digital divide as we cut the ribbon on our first ever Computer Lab."

"In Delaware and across the world, communities that thrive are those that have realized the power of engaging their youth in service," said Erastus Mong'are, Executive Director at the State Office of Volunteerism. "It's for this reason that we support the Global Youth Service Day in Delaware as a means for not only celebrating and engaging hundreds of youth across the state in service for the day, but developing a long-term ethic of service."

The Laurel Boys & Girls Club is at 454 Central Ave. Look for signs for parking. The day's schedule:
10 a.m.-1 p.m.: Gardening and activities
Noon-1 p.m.: Ribbon-cutting for Computer Lab, lunch and volunteer fair 1-3 p.m.: Science fair and open house

Celebrating 25 years, Global Youth Service Day (April 26-28, 2013) recognizes the positive impact that young people have on their communities year-round. Held each year in April, Global Youth Service Day is a time when millions of young people come together for celebrations and community service projects, often designed to address and raise awareness around tough community issues. With GYSD projects in all 50 states, more than 100 countries, and six continents, GYSD is the largest service event in the world. GYSD is a campaign of YSA Service, an international leader in the youth service movement.

"Congratulations and thanks to the young people of Delaware for their work to improve their community," said Steven A. Culbertson, president of YSA (Youth Service America), the founder and chief convener of GYSD. "On Global Youth Service Day, the world stands in awe as we see what's possible when kids take the lead as change-makers."

The State Office of Volunteerism is also sponsoring a variety of other projects throughout the weekend including a school cleanup, a Healthy Kids Fair, participating in the Brain Tumor Walk and many more. For a full list of projects or to register please visit or contact or by calling 302-255-9745

For information about the Boys & Girls Club visit

For information about Global Youth Service Day visit

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.