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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Contact Information: Johnna Kelly, 630-407-6022

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

County Launches Year of Service Initiative – Serve DuPage 2015

Serve DuPage 2015, a year-long outreach campaign to promote volunteerism and civic engagement throughout DuPage County, will launch on the Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service, Monday, Jan. 19.

Serve DuPage 2015 brings a local focus to the State of Illinois’ “2015: The Year of the Volunteer” initiative, which was created to recognize and encourage volunteer service throughout the state. Each month during 2015, the DuPage campaign will focus on volunteer service in specific areas, including the arts, literacy, public safety, food insecurity, employment and veterans’ needs. Volunteer testimonials, photos, blogs and opportunities will be shared via social media at one hashtag - #GivingDuPage - and promoted through news stories and community events.

Serve DuPage 2015 is a result of a coalition led by the DuPage Regional Office of Education, the DuPage County Board and Giving DuPage, in partnership with local leaders and the community at large. Participants will include the DuPage nonprofit community; school districts and institutions of higher learning; municipalities; countywide elected officials; and the faith and business communities.

Regional Superintendent Dr. Darlene Ruscitti, who serves on the state-wide committee for the Year of the Volunteer, said the initiative is an ideal fit for DuPage County which already has an active volunteer base.

“County residents have a longstanding reputation of volunteering and civic engagement. Serve DuPage 2015 will recognize current volunteers in action, while inspiring new volunteers to step up and get involved in their communities,” said Ruscitti.

DuPage County Board member Bob Larsen said volunteering provides benefits not only to the organizations served, but also to those performing the service.

“Serve DuPage invites families, churches, schools and business groups to get involved in a wide variety of projects to improve their communities. There are hundreds of worthy charities and non-profits that rely on volunteers to provide essential services and programs in our region. Serve DuPage will help match volunteers to the charities and non-profits that best meet their interests, take advantage of their skills sets, and provide them the most fulfilling volunteer experience,” said Larsen.

Volunteers can connect with service opportunities through the Giving DuPage website at givingdupage.org, where visitors can search by cause, location, organization or keywords, said Giving DuPage Board President Paul Feith. Giving DuPage is a public-private partnership with DuPage County that connects volunteers and donors with local opportunities to give back.

“At any given time, Giving DuPage features more than 130 available local volunteer opportunities, with nearly 290 volunteer referrals to local non-profit organizations since last September,” Feith said. “Our goal with Serve DuPage 2015 is to generate more than a thousand volunteer referrals to local agencies this year.”

To learn more about Serve DuPage 2015 and access the Community Partner Toolkit that provides more information about how to get involved with the initiative, visit www.givingdupage.org/servedupage2015. Follow Serve DuPage 2015 on social media and share volunteer stories at #GivingDuPage.