Health and Family Services Cabinet
Governor Beshear Proclaims Volunteer Week; Kentuckians commended for service to others
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 19, 2010) – Governor Steve Beshear has proclaimed April 18-24 as Volunteer Week in the Commonwealth and recognizes all Kentuckians who spend a portion of their time and money helping others.
“I’m pleased to proclaim Volunteer Week as a way to acknowledge Kentucky’s long tradition of neighborliness and to honor the thousands of Kentuckians who give money, time and talent daily to make a difference all across this Commonwealth,” Beshear said.
The Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service (KCCVS) in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services administers Kentucky’s AmeriCorps national service program and supports state volunteerism.
Sometimes called the domestic Peace Corps, AmeriCorps engages members in intensive community service. Currently, 330 AmeriCorps members serve with 20 AmeriCorps programs responding to unmet needs in Kentucky communities.
One service initiative coordinated by KCCVS and AmeriCorps has earned a national award and $10,000 to give to a nonprofit organization of their choice.
For October 2009’s Make A Difference Day, Kentuckians came together as a team to collect and distribute more than 123 tons of food to local food pantries and emergency feeding centers across the Commonwealth. The effort earned one of 10 $10,000 awards and a spotlight in the April 18 edition of USAWeekend Magazine.
“Volunteers are such a big part of Kentucky,” KCCVS Executive Director Eileen Cackowski said. “When our citizens have any great need, government can do a lot. But volunteers often provide a significant response.”
A 2008 study by the Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center reveals that 66 percent of Kentuckians volunteer. The estimated value of an hour of volunteer service is $20.25, according to The Independent Sector, a national advocacy group for volunteers and community service groups.
“Volunteers and service programs work with providers to ensure the well-being of so many Kentuckians, and this is the week that we formally say ‘thank you,’ ” Cackowski said.
KCCVS also sponsors the Volunteer Recognition Program, which provides certificates and citations of achievement and appreciation signed by the governor for volunteers with nonprofit organizations. In 2009, more than 2,000 certificates and citations were issued.
Learn more about Volunteer Week, KCCVS and 2009’s Make A Difference Day food drive online at www.volunteerKY.ky.gov.
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