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DHSS Press Release

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

Date: July 3, 2013


NEW CASTLE (July 3, 2013) - Nominations for the Governor's Outstanding Volunteer Service Awards are now being accepted by the State Office of Volunteerism. These awards recognize the important contributions that Delaware's volunteers, 18 and older, make to their communities through volunteerism. Award recipients will be honored at a special ceremony Oct. 22 at Dover Downs Hotel.

The awards honor individuals, school organizations, corporations and community groups in the areas of arts and culture, education, community service, environment, health, human needs, and social justice. The Paul Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a person who has had a longtime commitment to volunteerism. Volunteer efforts must have been performed during 2012.

"Through volunteerism and service, Delawareans of all ages help to strengthen our social fabric, our quality of life and our communities," Gov. Jack Markell said. "As a state of neighbors, it is a big part of who we are and how we live. The Governor's Outstanding Volunteer Awards is an opportunity to recognize individuals and groups for the difference they are making in our state, and to celebrate the spirit of volunteerism."

The nomination form, frequently asked questions, as well as a sample of a successful narrative are all available on Nominators may also request a nomination form by emailing or calling (302) 857-5006. Prior to submission, you may email the nomination form to Carrie Hart for review and feedback.

Nominations must be delivered by Aug. 20 to the Office of Volunteerism, Attn: Governor's Volunteer Service Awards, 805 River Road, Dover, DE 19901, or emailed to

"By reaching out to others in need, Delaware's thousands of volunteers share that critical thread of human connectedness," said Rita Landgraf, secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services, which oversees the State Office of Volunteerism. "Helping others - especially those in vulnerable populations - brings us all closer together and enhances our collective sense of community. Plus, in return, volunteers get the benefit of fulfillment and purpose."

More than 148,000 Delawareans volunteered in 2010, contributing 16.9 million hours of service to nonprofit and community organizations, according to the Corporation for National & Community Service. Another 41,000 Delawareans volunteered informally helping neighbors or working on community issues.

The Governor's Outstanding Volunteer Awards are sponsored by the Office of the Governor and are coordinated by the State Office of Volunteerism and the Governor's Commission on Community and Volunteer Service. The state's outstanding youth volunteers are honored each year at a separate ceremony in the spring.

"We hope that the Governor's Outstanding Volunteer Service Awards will motivate others across the state to volunteer their time and talent to help their fellow residents through these challenging economic times," said Erastus Mong'are, Executive Director of Serve Delaware, the Governor's Commission on Community and Volunteer Service. "Giving back uplifts so many individuals as it also strengthens our communities."

For more information about the awards or volunteer opportunities, go to, or contact Carrie Hart, Volunteer Service Administrator, at (302) 857-5006.

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.