Illinois has a lot to be proud of! Of the largest states in the US, Illinois is #1 in volunteering. Last year, our 2.51 million volunteers gave 274 million hours of service worth over $7 billion dollars. Along with that, we learned just last week that Rockford is among the top ten AmeriCity's. Out of all the mid-size cities in the US, Rockford ranked 6th in producing AmeriCorps Members for the country. Yes, Illinoisans should take pride in our passion to serve others.
Now, we at Serve Illinois are asking you to do more! The stories below will tell you about how you can Serve Those Who Served on Veterans Day, how you can bring AmeriCorps to your community, and how you can find skilled volunteers to support your work. Along with that, you can learn how to nominate the people who do the most good for our Volunteer of the Week and our Non-Profit Spotlight.
You can also search through over 2,500 volunteer opportunities in Illinois, and add your opportunities to that list, at www.Serve.Illinois.gov.
Let's continue to grow Illinois' volunteer heart, and make our state the best place to call home!
Yours in Service,
The Mission of Serve Illinois is to improve Illinois communities by enhancing volunteerism and instilling an ethic of service throughout the State. We envision an Illinois where all citizens recognize their ability and responsibility to help strengthen their communities through voluntary service.
This Veterans Day take honoring veterans to a new level by joining us on the first annual Serving Those Who Served Day of Service!
The Department of Veteran Affairs, Serve Illinois Commission, The Corporation for National and Community Service, Student Veterans of America, Campus Compact Illinois, Chicago Cares, and Illinois Joining Forces have partnered to give Illinoisans and their families the chance to support, aid, and honor veterans in their communities.
You, your family, your friends, your church, civic club, scout troop – you name it! – could be a big help to a group of men and women who would never ask for help! Whether it’s painting, landscaping, assisting with an event, writing thank you letters to the troops, or visiting our heroes in our Veterans’ Homes – WE WANT YOUR HELP!
Service projects can range from something as simple as writing a thank you note, to creating care packages, or hosting a free meal.
However you decide to serve the veterans in your community we want you to volunteer!
Why not serve those who have, and are, serving us this Veterans Day? The possibilities are endless.
Find tips on creating service projects, register your opportunities, and find places to volunteer by clicking below.
Chicago Harris Empowers AmeriCorps Members to Continue Working for Change
What is better than an education award after AmeriCorps service? How about a doubled education award?
Yes, you read that correctly! The Harris School of Public Policy at University of Chicago is now offering matched education awards to AmeriCorps members who enroll in a masters degree program.
AmeriCorps Members will also receive a waived application fee, preferential consideration, and eligibility for additional merit awards. Chicago Harris hopes to encourage AmeriCorps Alumni to continue exploring positive change after AmeriCorps with their new commitment.
Thank you to Chicago Harris for their continued commitment to honoring AmeriCorps Members and recognizing that they have a lot to give our communities!
Thanks to 15.6 Million dollars in federal funding AmeriCorps programs will be able to expand their reach of services throughout more communities in Illinois.
That means 32 programs and about 1,600 AmeriCorps members will serve and help Illinois in a variety of areas.
Many members will focus on educational needs, and will aid in tutoring, mentoring at-risk youth, and improving youth and adult literacy. Others will help prepare communities to effectively respond to emergencies. And some will help those in need by helping supply nutritional needs, providing legal support services, help the homeless, and help previously incarcerated individuals re-enter their communities more successfully.
Since 1994, 33,000 people have volunteered 45 million hours in Illinois through AmeriCorps. Those hours equal more than $1.1 BILLION in community service in Illinois!
Last year, approximately one in four Americans volunteered with a nonprofit organization, according to research by theCorporation for National and Community Service. That 25% gave 7.9 billion hours of service, but that means that 75% of the population did NOT engage in volunteerism. As society shifts and schedules become busier than ever before, lack of time can play a key role in hindering many well-intentioned individuals from getting involved and giving back
WomenOnCall aims to change those statistics. By scoping their projects to be short-term (requiring approximately ten hours of service or less) and often virtual, they help individuals find ways to fit volunteering into even the busiest of schedules. Volunteers and nonprofits from throughout the country connect via our technology platform on high-impact projects that leverage an individual's skills. Projects range from the graphic design of a program brochure or the facilitation of a focus group session to the revision of a grant narrative or the legal review of a Memorandum of Understanding. Though short-term, those opportunities have significant benefits for both the nonprofits and volunteers. WomenOnCall has more than 4,000 nonprofit and volunteer members in all 50 states.
Shine the Spotlight on Volunteers and Non-Profits!
Each week, we recognize a new Illinois volunteer. We are always accepting recommendations of volunteers to spotlight. It is really easy to do! Just send us a picture and 2-3 paragraphs about the volunteer.
We are also spotlighting non-profit organizations. Submissions should include a logo, photos, and a description/story.
Earlier this month, we announced that funding is available for agencies interested in administering AmeriCorps programs in Illinois. AmeriCorps programs are designed to improve education and health care, protect public safety, safeguard the environment, provide disaster relief, and promote civic engagement in communities across Illinois.
AmeriCorps members receive student loan deferment and training. Full-time members are also eligible to receive a modest living allowance and health insurance. Members who successfully complete their service receive an educational award of up to $5,815 to help pay for college, graduate school, vocational training, or to pay off student loans. If the member is 55 years or older, they may transfer the education award to a child, grandchild, or foster child.
Applications are due by December 2, 2016. Funded programs will begin work in July or August of 2017.
Serrve Illinois' Commissioners are appointed by the Governor for three year terms. If you are interested in applying to the Commission, please nominate yourself. The Commission is listed under "Volunteerism" on the nomination form.
Frederick D. Nettles, Jr., Illinois Department of Human Services – Springfield (Chair)
Don Baden, Fairview Heights Library Board; Fairview Heights (Vice Chair)
Jane Angelis, Continuance Magazine; Carbondale
Julian Brown; Chicago
Barb Byrne, Western Illinois Agency on Aging; Monmouth
Nisan Chavkin, Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago; Evanston
Laura Davis; Chicago
Merri Dee, AARP; Chicago
James Dixon, AFSCME; Springfield
Chris Errera, Pianist; Schaumburg
Beth Ford, Chicago Police; Chicago
Amanda Guinn, Belleville AmeriCorps; Belleville
John Hosteny, Corporation for National and Community Service; Chicago
Howard Lathan, Chicago Area Project; Chicago
Sarah Mackey, Habitat for Humanity International; Springfield
Debra Marton, Comcast; Schaumburg
Matt McCabe, Noble Network of Charter Schools; Chicago
Adam McGriffin, University of Chicago; Chicago
Jenné Myers, Chicago Cares; Chicago
Joseph Rives, Western Illinois University; Moline
Giraldo Rosales, University of Illinois; Champaign
Please welcome Mike Esper to the Serve Illinois team. Mike joined us on August 16th, and he will be taking on the role of an AmeriCorps Program Manager.
Mike is originally from Springfield and now lives in Glenarm. He spent his freshman year at Springhill College in Mobile Alabama before earning his BS in Business Administration and Economics at Illinois College in Jacksonville.
Mike is a proud father of three children, Ryan (34), Jessica (34), and Mallory (23). He enjoys working out at the gym, walking, reading, and Bears football. He also enjoys spending time with his wife, Julie, and his children.
Mike is happy to be a part of the Serve Illinois team, because there is no better way to give back to your community than volunteering your time to help others!
It is likely that you know Jacob Nudelman. He made sure everyone did. If you don't we are sure you will someday! Jake is now employed with the City of Chicago, but we look forward to working with him again in the future!
Jake joined Serve Illinois as an intern two years ago. He quickly dove into his work and began handling financial reporting, grant management, communications, and so much more!
During his time here Jacob worked hard to build Illinois Disaster Corps from the ground up. Because of him AmeriCorps Members will be able to deploy to a disaster and help victims tackle the unimaginable.
The staff will miss his fun stories and endless energy in the office, but his legacy lives on through Disaster Corps and a stronger AmeriCorps Program. Thanks, Jake!