Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism Celebrates First Quarter Achievements, Wraps Up National Volunteer Month
More Than 1,800 Volunteers Recognized
ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism (GOSV) today announced the impact of their efforts during the first quarter of 2019 as April’s National Volunteer Month comes to a close. Led by Director Van Brooks, GOSV is dedicated to connecting Marylanders to volunteer opportunities, recognizing the service of volunteers across the state and administering the AmeriCorps State program in Maryland, which supports the work of community organizations and provides individuals of all backgrounds with opportunities to meet community needs through service.
“AmeriCorps members devote their time, energy, and expertise to serving our communities and addressing important issues that affect our state,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Today’s announcement further illustrates the commitment of our citizens to change Maryland for the better and make a meaningful difference in the world.”
GOSV has honored more than 1,800 Maryland volunteers for their service to Maryland communities in the first quarter. Maryland was ranked among the top states for volunteering and charitable giving by two recent reports.
“We owe Maryland’s top ranking to our citizens who give their time and skills selflessly to strengthening our communities and making Maryland a wonderful place to thrive,” said Director of the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism, Van Brooks. “We thank our partners, including our 21 AmeriCorps programs, members of the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism, staff, and Governor Hogan’s administration for its support in helping us to achieve these successes.”
GOSV conducted many activities to recognize volunteers in the 1st quarter of 2019. The inaugural Youth Service Awards program was announced earlier this month. GOSV hosted the 2nd Annual Black History Month Community Leaders Awards in February, which celebrated 10 Maryland-based, African American-founded organizations that provide volunteer service. Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford presented the awards during a ceremony at the Banneker-Douglass Museum. The office also is prepping for the annual Governor’s Service Awards which enters its 36th year in 2019 and continuing strong partnerships with M&T Bank, the Baltimore Ravens, the Baltimore Orioles, and the Maryland State Fair to provide free and discount passes to local sporting and community events.
“In addition to the incredible service Maryland volunteers provide, their work also creates positive economic outcomes for our state,” said Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, Steven J. McAdams. “According to a study released this month by Independent Sector, the value of an hour of volunteer work in Maryland is estimated at over $28. Volunteers are truly changing Maryland for the better with their continued dedication and service to our communities.”
Earlier this month, GOSV announced $1.8 million in AmeriCorps State Competitive grants awarded to seven Maryland organizations for initiatives to take place from August 15, 2019, to August 14, 2020. AmeriCorps, a national program of the federal Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), provides funding for organizations to recruit and train community AmeriCorps members to serve in local communities and address issues, including the opioid crisis, youth literacy and education, community development, and environmental stewardship. Just last year, CNCS named Baltimore as the number one major city, and Maryland as the number 10 state, for producing the most AmeriCorps members per capita. GOSV currently funds 21 AmeriCorps State programs and supports nearly 1,000 AmeriCorps members who are serving across Maryland.
In support of Maryland’s AmeriCorps members, GOSV hosted its second annual “Life after AmeriCorps” professional development training in Baltimore to prepare AmeriCorps members for their careers after completing their term of service. Over a hundred AmeriCorps members attended and received the opportunity to meet potential employers from the corporate, nonprofit, and public sectors; network with AmeriCorps alumni; and develop skills to market their AmeriCorps experience for future opportunities.
GOSV also continues to engage citizens through online platforms, including welcoming over 3,000 visitors to its website, creating over 69,000 Twitter impressions, and impressing more than 600 people per Facebook post in the 1st quarter of 2019. In addition, GOSV plans to launch a new “one stop shop” portal to link Marylanders interested in volunteer opportunities with local organizations.
To find ways to recognize volunteers serving Maryland and learn more about AmeriCorps, visit gosv.maryland.gov.