Nominations for the Governor's Outstanding Youth 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 younger, make to their communities through volunteerism. Award recipients will be honored at a special ceremony in April.
The awards honor individuals, school organizations and community groups in the areas of arts and culture; education; community service; environment; health; human needs; and social justice. Nominees, 18 and younger, who were enrolled in an elementary, middle, high school or home school, at the time of their service, are eligible. Volunteer efforts must have been performed during 2012.
"Every day across our state, we see an incredible commitment from young people in the service of others," Gov. Jack Markell said. "They are learning the value of giving back by helping to build stronger communities and lifting up individuals and organizations in need of support. The Governor's Outstanding Youth Volunteer Service Awards is an opportunity to recognize individual young people and groups for their service, and to celebrate their growing spirit of volunteerism."
To request a nominating form, contact Carrie Hart at 857-5006, email@example.com or find the form online at www.volunteerdelaware.org. Nomination packets must be delivered by Feb. 15 to the Office of Volunteerism, Attn: Governor's Youth Volunteer Service Awards, 805 River Road, Dover, DE 19901, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Governor's Outstanding Volunteer Awards are sponsored by the Office of the Governor and coordinated by the State Office of Volunteerism and the Governor's Commission on Community and Volunteer Service.
"Delaware's communities definitely are better places because of the contributions of our youngest volunteers," said Rita Landgraf, secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services, which oversees the State Office of Volunteerism. "Through their commitments, these young people are developing what I hope will be a lifetime passion for public service and an understanding that a successful future will be measured by the difference they make in our society."
In a nationwide survey, the Corporation for National and Community Service ranked Delaware No. 1 for the greatest percentage increase in volunteering from 2010 to 2011 – up 5.3 percentage points – to 26.6 percent. Delaware's volunteer rate for teens is almost 20 percent.
To find volunteer opportunities or to post the need for volunteer assistance, go to www.volunteerdelaware.org.