Nominations for volunteer awards open until Oct. 18

DOVER — The state Office of Volunteerism will be accepting nominations for the Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Service Awards until Oct. 18.

The awards recognize the important contributions Delaware’s volunteers make to their communities.

Recipients will be announced Dec. 5, International Volunteer Day, but no ceremony will be held this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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,” Gov. John Carney said.

“I’m especially grateful this year for those who have taken on the critical work of volunteering as part of the state’s response to the COVID-19 crisis,” he said. “These annual awards are a chance for us to highlight the contributions of our volunteers and to say thank you. Their selfless work builds a better Delaware for all of us.”

Nominated volunteers must be 18 or older and have been active during the past year leading up to Sept. 15. Prior volunteer activity can be highlighted to show long-term commitment.

Both individuals and teams or organizations will be honored in eight different categories.

The individual categories will include awards for an emerging volunteer leader, an AmeriCorps alum, an active military veteran, a first responder and any exceptional individual who volunteers.

Awards will also be given to a business or corporation that has made a substantial impact in its community, a group of two or more who volunteer together and a nonprofit volunteer program that has provided exceptional service.

Additionally, the Paul Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to a nominee who has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to volunteerism.

The Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Service Awards are sponsored by the Office of the Governor, the Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of State Service Centers, the state Office of Volunteerism and the Governor’s Commission on Community and Volunteer Service.

“Volunteers are an invaluable part of our efforts to improve the health and well-being of all Delawareans and to protect our vulnerable populations,” said DHSS Secretary Molly Magarik. “I’m thankful for the hard work and generous support of all our volunteers, especially as our residents struggle to cope with the impact of the pandemic.”

The nomination form is available at volunteer.delaware.gov. Nominators may also request a form by emailing suzanne.farris@delaware.gov or calling 857-5006.

Nominations that are not submitted online must be delivered by Oct. 16 to the State Office of Volunteerism, Attn: Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Service Awards, c/o Suzanne Farris, Williams State Service Center, 805 River Road, Dover, DE 19901, or emailed to dhss_volunteerdelaware@delaware.gov.

For more information about the awards or volunteer opportunities, go to volunteer.delaware.gov.