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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@delaware.gov

Date: March 29, 2016


NEW CASTLE (March 29, 2016) - The seventh annual Delaware Week of Service, which takes place April 10-16 and coincides with National Volunteerism Week, will be celebrated with volunteer opportunities across the state.

The annual Delaware Week of Service has its origins in the Weekend of Service that Gov. Jack Markell and his wife, Carla, created in January 2009 in lieu of a traditional Inaugural Ball. As part of their ongoing commitment to volunteerism and service, the Markells have hosted and participated in the annual Delaware Week of Service every year.

"It is an honor for Carla and me to shine a light on volunteerism across our state through the Delaware Week of Service," Gov. Jack Markell said. "Every day we see the difference that volunteers are making as they serve their fellow Delawareans, especially those who are most vulnerable. I know that the ongoing passion and commitment of Delaware's volunteers will continue to make our state a better place for all of us."

In 2014, almost 193,000 Delawareans formally volunteered, contributing 21.4 million hours of service to nonprofit and community organizations, according to the Corporation for National & Community Service. (volunteeringinamerica.gov/DE ) Additionally, thousands of Delawareans helped neighbors, friends or strangers without having those efforts documented.

Delawareans are encouraged to visit VolunteerDelaware.org to search for volunteer opportunities for the Delaware Week of Service. Organizations can register to list their volunteer needs and opportunities to serve. Individuals and groups can log in to search for volunteer projects and programs.

"As First Lady, one of my greatest rewards has been the opportunity to interact and work with so many volunteers," Carla Markell said. "I am inspired by their passion to serve and by their commitment to make a difference in people's lives. Beyond the countless hours, volunteerism is about human connectedness, and that is truly a powerful experience for those involved."

The State Office of Volunteerism is actively collecting opportunities for service and volunteering in conjunction with the Delaware Week of Service. It is recommended that anyone interested in volunteering check the website often as new events are being added daily to VolunteerDelaware.org

"It is an honor and a privilege to participate in this year's Delaware Week of Service," said Luz Vasquez-Guzman, Senior Administrator for the State Office of Volunteerism and Executive Director of the Governor's Commission on Community and Volunteer Service. "Volunteering is a wonderful example of civic engagement and responsibility that can reap valuable personal rewards. The activities listed highlight a few of the many opportunities to volunteer throughout the great state of Delaware."

Volunteering Opportunities
Delaware Week of Service

Gov. Jack Markell and First Lady Carla Markell call on Delawareans to seek out special volunteer projects to mark the annual Governor's Week of Service, April 10-16. New statewide opportunities are posted daily so please visit VolunteerDelaware.org often to find Delaware Week of Service events or for more ways to give back every day.

25th Annual Christina Watershed Cleanup: 8 a.m.-noon.

Volunteers are needed for Northern Delaware's largest litter cleanup yet. More than a dozen sites are available, ranging from Newark to Wilmington, including the First State Historical Park. Visit ChristinaRiverCleanup.org to register or call 302-307-2757. Due to insurance requirements, volunteers younger than 16 must have adult supervision. Participants should wear brightly colored clothing, long sleeves and pants, boots or water-resistant shoes, hats, heavy-duty gloves, insect repellent and sunscreen. Waders or hip boots are also helpful for some sites. Trash bags, gloves, water and snacks will be provided. Those who act fast will receive a special T-shirt designed by a local student.

Friends of Historic Riverview Cemetery: 9 a.m.-noon
Volunteers are needed to maintain and beautify the 42-acre cemetery grounds. Duties include picking up litter and fallen branches; preparing the four flower gardens by weeding, adding compost, mulching and planting. Volunteer certificates are available for students. Snacks and beverages provided. Visit riverviewcem.com for details.

Marshall Steam Museum at Auburn Heights Preserve Volunteer Open House: 1-4 p.m.
From 1-3 p.m., explore the site and meet our team; from 3-4 p.m., volunteer meeting. Whether helping with parking, running the steam and diesel locomotives, gardening with our Green Team, or giving tours, volunteers make the difference. Learn about the different volunteer opportunities available at Auburn Heights and consider joining our team in 2016. Experience isn't necessary, just enthusiasm. Free and open to the public. Learn more at auburnheights.org/support/volunteer/

Peoples Settlement Associations: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

408 E. Eighth St., Wilmington. Need exterior windows scraped and painted. Will need 12 volunteers; agency will provide lunch. To register or for more information, contact 302-658-4133 or psassociation@gmail.com.

Sussex County Habitat for Humanity
Sussex County Habitat for Humanity will kick off National Volunteer Week with Dogfish Head Benevolence Day. More than 200 Dogfish Head employees will frame houses, build sheds and put up walls at different build sites in Sussex County. Dogfish Head employees are committed to improving the communities in which they live. To learn how you can participate, contact Nancy Greene, programs manager at Sussex County Habitat for Humanity, at 302-855-1153, ext. 205.

TUESDAY, APRIL 12 Delaware Department of Health and Social Services Blood Drive: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
DHSS' Division of State Service Centers is coordinating this blood drive in the Springer Building Gym, Herman Holloway Campus, U.S 13 South, near New Castle. Pre-register by calling 888-8BLOOD8 or signing up online at delmarvablood.org and using sponsor code: HHHS. Open to the public. For more information, contact Deborah Tokarski at deborah.tokarski@delaware.gov or 302-255-9893.

Teen Volunteer Fairs:
The New Castle County Library System and the State Office of Volunteerism are continuing their partnership in offering the New Castle County Teen Volunteer Fair. This program has been so successful over the years that last year we added a second fair. Miss Delaware will be in attendance and her inspirational platform is volunteer service. Organizations that work with teen volunteers will have a chance to make contact with enthusiastic, motivated young people.

Full Scale DRBA New Castle County Airport Exercise: 7:30 a.m. check-in time.
Exercise will run from 9 a.m. to approximately noon. Need approximately 40 volunteers. Location is the New Castle County Airport, 151 N. Dupont Highway, New Castle. To register, contact paige.fitzgerald@delaware.gov or 302-659-2205. Dress appropriately for the weather conditions. Wear old clothing that you don't mind having ruined as we will be applying makeup to most of you. No flip-flops. Also, you may want to bring a small rug/piece of cardboard to sit on near the exercise site. You will be assigned roles as patients or as victims once you check in. Lunch and water will be provided. We will have a waiver form for all participants to sign upon check-in. If anyone is younger than 18, they must have a parent/guardian sign the form; if not they will not participate in the drill.

Bellevue State Park: 10 a.m.-noon
The Veterans Corps will lead a variety of projects including washing 200 outdoor event chairs, bundling firewood with the Friends group, litter and branch pick-up. Volunteer should meet at 10 a.m. at the Arts Center. For more information, email the park's volunteer manager at Jean.Bauer@delaware.gov.

Take a Kid Fishing! & Family Fishing Programs Volunteer Workshop: 9-11 a.m.
Aquatic Resources Education Center, 4876 Hay Point Landing Road, Smyrna. You do not need any special knowledge of fishing in order to volunteer with the kids fishing programs through the Division of Fish & Wildlife. There is something for everyone who would like to get outdoors and join other volunteers in a great program for kids. Volunteers 16 years and older must have a current Delaware fishing license to fish. For volunteers seeking information on how to obtain a fishing license, please visit the Division of Fish & Wildlife's Recreational Licenses & Permits webpage. Pre-registration is required. To register or for more information, contact Mary Rivera at mary.rivera@delaware.gov or 302-735-8666.

Highway Clean-up at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge: 1-3:30 p.m.
Help clean up the roads leading to Bombay Hook, 2591 Whitehall Neck Road, Smyrna. Wear shoes that can get wet and bring work gloves. Meet at Bombay Hook's Visitor Center. Refreshments will be served after the clean-up.10 Volunteers are needed. To register or more information, contact Tina Watson at 302-653-9345 or tina_watson@fws.gov

BTL Foundation Book Drive:
Morning or evening for three-hour shifts. Please contact 302-234-0425 or btlonline@gmail.com for location. We are collecting new/gently used books and need help with sorting and packing the children's books collected. For sorting/arranging/packing books we need: four volunteers. For donating books, all are welcome.

Teen Volunteer Fair:
Sussex Central High School in Georgetown seeks agencies that are in need of student volunteers. Many students are searching for a place to volunteer, but do not know where they can volunteer or how to get started. This is the perfect opportunity to bring everyone together. Contact Christina Z Keeler, school counselor, Class of 2019, Sussex Central High School, at 302-934-3166.

For more information, go to volunteerdelaware.org or contact the State Office of Volunteerism at dhss_VolunteerDelaware@delaware.gov.

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.