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DHSS Press Release

Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: July 3, 2017


NEW CASTLE (July 3, 2017) - Nominations for the Governor's Outstanding Volunteer Service Awards are being accepted by the State Office of Volunteerism through Friday, Aug. 11. These awards recognize the important contributions Delaware's volunteers, 18 and older, make to their communities.

"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. "Their selfless work to help others also builds a better Delaware for all of us. And though they do this work without thought of reward or recognition, these annual awards are a chance for us to say thank you and to highlight their contributions."

Individuals, organizations, community groups, and corporate volunteerism can be nominated for volunteer efforts in 2016 in the areas of:

The Paul Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a person who has had a longtime commitment to volunteerism. Award recipients will be honored at a special ceremony Oct. 25 at Dover Downs Hotel.

"This year, we have the privilege of honoring individuals and groups who have excelled in the area of service to their communities here in Delaware," said Luz Vasquez-Guzman, Senior Administrator State Office of Volunteerism and Executive Director of the Governor's Commission on Community and Volunteer Service. "At a time when we are facing fiscal challenges, the need for volunteers to meet the needs of the community is vital in service delivery. I encourage you to get the word out and nominate those you feel exemplify outstanding service to their communities."

The nomination form is available on Nominators may also request a nomination form by emailing or calling 302-857-5006. "The Commission encourages Delawareans to nominate those exemplary groups and individuals who lighten the burdens of others through their dedicated and ongoing service," said Georgeanna Windley, Chair of the Governor's Commission on Community and Volunteer Service, of the 2017 Governor's Outstanding Volunteer Service Awards.

In 2015, more than 193,000 Delawareans formally volunteered, or a rate of almost 26 percent, ranking Delaware 28th among the 50 states and Washington D.C., according to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The more than 23 million volunteer hours served in 2015 contributed the equivalent of $628 million to the state's economy.

"Volunteers across our state make an extraordinary difference in the lives of people in need and in communities at risk," said Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker. "Their selfless acts empower so many other lives and contribute to a stronger and healthier Delaware for all of us. I encourage Delawareans to nominate outstanding volunteers in our state so we can honor that unwavering spirit of connection."

Nominations must be delivered by Friday, Aug. 11, to the Office of Volunteerism, Attn: Governor's Outstanding Volunteer Service Awards, c/o April Willey, Williams State Service Center, 805 River Road, Dover, DE, 19901, or emailed to

The Governor's Outstanding Volunteer Service Awards are sponsored by the Office of the Governor and are coordinated by the Division of State Service Center's State Office of Volunteerism and the Governor's Commission on Community and Volunteer Service.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.