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Welcome to Serve Illinois


The Governor's Hometown Awards are back!
Seeking Nomination From Illinois Communities

HomeTown Awards Logo​​The Serve Illinois Commission is pleased to announce it is now accepting applications for the Governor’s Hometown Awards program. The program gives formal recognition to those who contributed to their community’s quality of life through projects that have strong volunteer support, meet a need, and make a definitive impact.

Serve Illinois, the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, is excited to be able to tie the Governor’s Hometown Awards to its mission to improve Illinois communities by enhancing volunteerism and instilling an ethic of service throughout the state. Adding the Governor’s Hometown Awards, which recognizes community projects, to Serve Illinois’ existing Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards, which recognizes individual volunteer efforts, will only strengthen volunteer recognition throughout Illinois.

Interested townships, villages, cities, and counties can apply now through August 1, 2017 for projects that use volunteers in their communities for the period of January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2016. For additional information regarding program criteria and the application process, click here.

What Does National Service Mean to Illinois?

CNCS Report on IllinoisAcross Illinois members of AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and other programs serve their communities and "Get Things Done" for America!

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Volunteer of the Week

Casandra Caldwell

Casandra CaldwellCasandra works as a Digital Literacy Instructor at the Financial Opportunity Center at Preservation of Affordable Housing’s (POAH) Woodlawn Resource Center (WRC). She works with clients who are looking for employment and greater financial stability. Many of the clients of the center, and in the Woodlawn neighborhood, are held back in these efforts by their limited digital literacy skills. Casandra works with the financial coaching and employment coaching staff to ensure that all clients—some of whom are residents of POAH’s affordable developments in Woodlawn—feel comfortable using computers in the workplace, to manage their finances, and to communicate with friends and family. For those clients who are seeking jobs, Casandra works with them to develop resumes and cover letters and practice their basic skills. Other clients, especially senior citizens, are simply eager to have a chance to learn computer skills in an accessible and welcoming environment. Casandra creates this environment by holding structured classes as well as open computer lab hours, when clients can get one-on-one assistance.

Casandra is among the most dedicated volunteers the organization has. She has been especially eager to develop new classes and ideas in response to her clients’ feedback. When she noticed that senior citizen residents seemed interested in the computer lab but hesitant to try it out, she set aside time and space for classes open to seniors only and expanded her teaching repertoire to include typing games and social media. Casandra also learned about free advanced Excel classes being offered at the YWCA and used some of her training hours to increase her own knowledge of Excel and continue building her skills. She has also served as a mentor and supporter of newer and younger AmeriCorps members in the cohort by offering to let them shadow her classes, helping them with data entry, and brainstorming new ideas for engaging clients. She is a cheerleader for the AmeriCorps team, and takes particular joy in building others’ self-confidence.

Casandra’s commitment to her clients has highlighted the importance of digital literacy to workforce development and financial stability. She has forged strong partnerships with her colleagues, including working with the financial coach to equip clients to manage their bank accounts online and supporting workforce staff by integrating Microsoft Word skills into cover letter writing.


Upcoming Events

6/19-21/2017​ National Conference on Volunteering and Service Seattle, WA
6/20/2017​ AmeriCorps PER Due in EGrAMS
7/20/2017​ AmeriCorps PER Due in EGrAMS