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October 24, 2007

AmeriCorps volunteers pledge to help others through community service
More than 700 Illinoisans are sworn in during an opening day ceremony in Springfield

Springfield – Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Secretary Carol L. Adams, Ph.D., announced today more than 700 Illinoisans were sworn in, dedicating themselves to a year of serving their communities through the AmeriCorps program.   The annual opening day ceremony was held at the Illinois State Capitol building in Springfield, marking the 13th anniversary of the AmeriCorps program.  In those 13 years, more than 16,400 people have volunteered their time in Illinois through AmeriCorps.

“AmeriCorps is an excellent opportunity for young people to volunteer their time and talents and give something back to their communities,” said Secretary Adams. “Illinois has a strong tradition of volunteerism and compassion for those in need. Whether it is helping children learn to read, mentoring young people or assisting elderly persons, AmeriCorps volunteers make a real difference in the communities in which they serve.”

The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, also known as “Serve Illinois,” administers the AmeriCorps*State programs in Illinois.  Serve Illinois is funded by IDHS.  The Serve Illinois Commission currently supports 21 AmeriCorps programs throughout the state. 

AmeriCorps members dedicate a year to helping communities meet their unmet human service, education, public safety or environmental needs.  They receive a modest living allowance, health insurance, student loan deferment and training. Members who successfully complete their service receive an educational award of up to $4,725 to help pay for college, graduate school, vocational training or to pay off student loans.

The AmeriCorps volunteers were sworn in by Serve Illinois commissioner Dave Lawrence of Savoy.

For more information on AmeriCorps, visit the website at www.illinois.gov\volunteer
or call 800-592-9896.


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