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News Release - January 11, 2017

News Release – Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Volunteers Across Illinois Set To Make Martin Luther King Day A “Day On, Not A Day Off”

Illinois also seeking nominations for the Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Bruce Rauner has proclaimed January 16, 2016 as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service in the state of Illinois. The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (Serve Illinois) today encouraged people across Illinois to take part in the day of service by volunteering in their community.

Dr. King said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’”

“Illinoisans answer this question each day by helping their neighbors and their community. Volunteerism is the answer,” said Serve Illinois Executive Director Scott McFarland.

Serve Illinois calls on you to make Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a “day on instead of a day off.” Martin Luther King Jr. Day was designated a National Day of Service by Congress in 1994. Illinoisans have a rich history of service, including being the number one volunteering state out of the largest states in the country.

Anyone interested in volunteering on Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service can visit to find more than 2,000 volunteer opportunities throughout Illinois. Volunteers can search based on location or area of interest, as well as by web-based, ongoing, or one-time volunteer opportunities.

Serve Illinois is also accepting nominations for the annual Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards. These awards recognize individual volunteers and businesses that support community service. The awards honor those who provide selfless service to the state and highlight the importance of volunteerism and community service in Illinois.

Nominations are due to Serve Illinois by January 29, 2016. A ceremony to honor recipients will be held on April 13, 2016 at the Old State Capitol in Springfield. Visit for information about individual awards, past recipient bios, and nomination forms.

The Serve Illinois Commission is a 40 member (25 voting and 15 non-voting), bi-partisan board appointed by the Governor and administered by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Its mission is to improve Illinois communities by enhancing volunteerism and instilling an ethic of service throughout the state.