Governor Rauner has declared today, October 17, 2018 National Service Opening Day. Almost 1,000 Illinoisans will pledge their continuing commitment to helping their communities at the 24th Annual Illinois’ National Service Opening Day event in Springfield. There will be a parade to the Old State Capitol where attendees will be sworn in for their year of service and will proclaim their commitment to Illinois and the nation. Several of the national service members will receive awards and all military veterans will be honored for their continued service.
Illinois’ AmeriCorps Members and Senior Corps volunteers are working on the front lines to improve our communities. They dedicate millions of hours a year at more than 1,600 locations throughout Illinois. Approximately 2,400 current AmeriCorps Members have dedicated a year to help communities meet their unmet economic, education, health, public safety, or environmental needs. Members receive a modest living allowance, student loan deferment, and training. Since 1994, 41,000 Illinoisans have served more than 59 million hours totaling more than $1.5 billion in impact and have qualified for Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards totaling more than $140.8 million for college or to pay off student loans.
Senior Corps Members use their lifetime of experience to support communities through the RSVP, Foster Grandparents, and Senior Companions programs. These 55-year-old and older volunteers serve as mentors, coaches, and companions to people in need. There are more than 12,600 Illinois seniors serving. Visit www.Serve.Illinois.gov for more information on Serve Illinois, or to find one of more than 2,500 volunteer opportunities in Illinois.
Here at Housing Forward we are grateful and proud of our AmeriCorps members, especially those who made the trip to Springfield this year. We value their contributions to our mission of ending homelessness in west Cook County.