DOVER, DE – Nominations for the Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Service Awards are being accepted by the State Office of Volunteerism through Sunday, Oct. 18. These awards recognize the important contributions made by Delaware’s volunteers to their communities. Award recipients will be announced Dec. 5 to coincide with International Volunteer Day. No ceremony will be held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Thousands of Delawareans give their time and effort each year, volunteering in their communities and working to make a difference in the lives of others,” said Gov. John Carney. “I’m especially grateful this year for those who have taken on the critical work of volunteering as part of the state’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. These annual awards are a chance for us to highlight the contributions of our volunteers and to say thank you. Their selfless work builds a better Delaware for all of us.”
Nominated volunteers must have been active during the past year leading up to Sept. 15, 2020, although prior volunteer activity can also be highlighted to show long-term commitment. To be eligible, the nominated individuals and group members must be 18 or older.
Volunteers will be honored in the categories of:
- Individual: An exceptional individual over 18 who volunteers.
- Emerging Volunteer Leader: An individual over 18 who has demonstrated exceptional leadership abilities.
- AmeriCorps Alum: A Delaware Alum whose commitment to embody service beyond their term of AmeriCorps service continues to bring about positive community change. Alums must have served in the 2019 service year or before.
- Business: A corporation or business that has made a substantial impact in the community by promoting service to their employees through engaging in volunteer activities and/or by providing time for employees to volunteer for local organizations and/or agencies.
- First Responder: Any individual employed in an emergency service occupation whose service has gone above and beyond the call of duty in a capacity outside of paid employment.
- Group/Team: A group or team of two or more people who volunteer together on the same project(s).
- Active Military Veteran: An individual who has served or is serving in the armed forces and volunteers in a Delaware community in a capacity outside of their military role.
- Nonprofit Volunteer Program: A nonprofit whose volunteers have shown exemplary service in carrying out the mission of the organization through direct service.
In addition, the Paul Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to a nominee who has had a longtime commitment to volunteerism. Wilkinson was a member of the Delaware Governor’s Council on Volunteerism from 2000 until 2004, when legislation transformed the Council into a Commission, and he continued serving until 2008. He passed away on Jan. 17, 2009; his legacy and dedication to serving others continues through the award named in his honor.
The Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Service Awards are sponsored by the Office of the Governor, the Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of State Service Centers, the State Office of Volunteerism, and the Governor’s Commission on Community and Volunteer Service.
“Volunteers are an invaluable part of our efforts to improve the health and well-being of all Delawareans and to protect our vulnerable populations,” said Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Molly Magarik. “I’m thankful for the hard work and generous support of all our volunteers, especially as our residents struggle to cope with the impact of the pandemic.”
“The 2020 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Service Awards provide an excellent opportunity for Delawareans to nominate those extraordinary groups and individuals who lighten the burdens of others through their dedicated and ongoing service,” said Kanani Hines Munford, Senior Administrator for the State Office of Volunteerism and Executive Director of the Governor’s Commission on Community and Volunteer Service. “Now is the time to highlight their exemplary service.”
The nomination form is available online at Volunteer.Delaware.gov. Nominators may also request a form by emailing Suzanne.Farris@delaware.gov or calling 302-857-5006.
Nominations that are not submitted online must be delivered by Friday, Oct. 16, to the State Office of Volunteerism, Attn: Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Service Awards, c/o Suzanne Farris, Williams State Service Center, 805 River Road, Dover, DE 19901 or emailed to dhss_VolunteerDelaware@delaware.gov.
For more information about the awards or volunteer opportunities, go to volunteer.delaware.gov or contact Suzanne Farris, Volunteer Service Administrator, at 302-857-5006 or Suzanne.Farris@delaware.gov.