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April 25, 2001

Governor Announces New Grants Program for Volunteer Service Centers

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced grants totaling $44,800 to 14 volunteer centers in Illinois. The grants will be administered by the Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service-a part of the Department of Human Services (DHS) and are an effort to promote volunteerism and encourage community service.

The Volunteer Promotion Grants, will support First Lady Lura Lynn Futures for Kids -- Meeting Illinois' Promise initiative. This initiative is designed to strengthen the infrastructure of volunteerism across the state. Ryan's Futures for Kids was developed by Governor George H. Ryan and First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan as a statewide resource to coordinate programs and policies related to health, safety and education of infants, children and teenagers.

"Volunteers are the lifeblood of our communities. We're pleased to back this important initiative because it provides Illinoisans with the opportunity to lend their talents and resources to help make their communities better places," Governor Ryan said.

Noting that volunteer centers help link future volunteers with appropriate activities DHS Secretary Linda ReneƩ Baker said that the funds can be used to develop promotional materials such as brochures and booklets or assist in website development.

"Our goals are to increase the number of persons utilizing the services of the funded volunteer centers and to increase the professional skills of volunteer administrators in agencies linked with the volunteer center," Secretary Baker added.

Among projects that the program will be able to assist are: an initiative by the United Way Volunteer Center of Will County to develop and distribute brochures promoting youth volunteerism at all schools in the area; a newspaper insert prepared by Neighbor to Neighbor Volunteer Center of McHenry County, which explains the program and lists volunteer opportunities; and an easy and user-friendly volunteer guide to be developed by the United Way Volunteer Center of Chicago.

"We're excited about all the creative ways in which potential volunteers will be recruited, but more importantly, the contributions they can make toward improving the quality of life in their communities," said Commission Chair Helen D. Shumate.

For further information on the Volunteer Promotion Grants, contact Jeanne Blackman, volunteer program manager, at 217-558-2666.

Each center will receive $3,200. Attached is a list of the participating centers.

Volunteer Centers in Illinois that are participating in the program:

The United Way Volunteer Center
Chicago, IL

The Volunteer Center of DuPage
Wheaton, IL

The Volunteer Pool of Highland Park
Highland Park, IL

The Volunteer Center of United Way of Lake County
Green Oaks, IL

The Volunteer Bureau of Lake Forest/Lake Bluff
Lake Forest, IL

The Volunteer Center of New Trier Township
Winnetka, IL

The Volunteer Center of Northwest Suburban Chicago
Arlington Heights, IL

The Volunteer Center of Oak Park/River Forest
Oak Park, IL

The Volunteer Center of United Way of Will County
Joliet, IL

The Volunteer Center of Greater Barrington
Barrington, IL

Neighbor to Neighbor of McHenry County
McHenry, IL

The Community Volunteer Center
Springfield, IL

Community Volunteer Center of United Way
Champaign, IL

Heart of IL United Way Volunteer Center


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