Mark Your Calendar to Celebrate Service!

The Super Bowl is over, but the season of celebrating success is just beginning! In my dream world, we celebrate service as much (or more!) as we do sports. Dedicating oneself to serving others takes courage, perseverance, patience, empathy, and so much more. That’s why I want to let you know about some upcoming ways to recognize those who serve as AmeriCorps members and volunteers.

Next month, we’ll celebrate National AmeriCorps Week. The theme this year is AmeriCorps Works and we’re looking forward to showcasing how AmeriCorps is working here in Maryland – for our communities, for our Service Sites, and for our AmeriCorps members and Alums. I hope you’ll join us from March 10 – 18 to tell your stories of how AmeriCorps has worked and is working for you!

In April, we’ll join another national week of recognition; National Volunteer Week is April 15 – 21, 2012. This is a wonderful time to go the extra mile to thank volunteers for their service! During this week, recognize and celebrate your volunteers and the power of volunteerism. Make a commitment to demonstrate the value and impact that volunteerism has in your organization and your community.

Then, in May, we’ll recognize volunteers in Maryland who have made significant contributions over the last year. That’s right – it’s the Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards! Each year, these awards are presented by the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism (GOSV) for “outstanding volunteer service that provides meaningful and direct impact in Maryland communities.” And there’s only one way the GOSV can know who these amazing volunteers are; you have to tell them. Nominations are due by March 16, 2012; you can find more information on the awards and the nomination form here.

Also in May, Volunteer Maryland and the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism are hosting the third annual Destination AmeriCorps.  Through Destination AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps members from a diverse collection of AmeriCorps programs in Maryland will jhave the opportunity to network and learn about other AmeriCorps programs; celebrate the impact of AmeriCorps in Maryland; win prizes; and have an incredibly fun time.  We’re happily planning away for Destination AmeriCorps right now, with Barb and Joy leading the way.  They both participated in last year’s event and are bringing great ideas to this one; it promises to be a success!

These are three great events that are always exciting. Still, don’t wait to celebrate service! Make sure you do so today and everyday!

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