Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

July 17, 2013

MSUCorps honored during Governor’s Awards

Staff report
The Independent

MOREHEAD — For the second straight year, the MSUCorps/AmeriCorps program was presented with the “Make A Difference Day” award during the annual Governor’s Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service in a ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion.

Overall it is the third time MSUCorps has received this award. The corps also won in 2008.

Mary Claire Williams is the program director.

“Our corps accepts this award on behalf of the citizens in the communities that we serve who took time to collect and donate tons of food to benefit local food banks and backpack programs. This year, our corps focused on food that would help backpack programs to help our students reach their maximum potential. We believe that if we can help feed hungry students, we set the groundwork for success in school by meeting their basic needs,” said Williams.

USA Weekend’s Make A Difference Day is an annual event on the fourth Saturday in October. Since its inception in 1992, corporations, charitable organizations, government leaders and ordinary citizens rally to provide a host of service projects to benefit their communities.

The Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service has an annual contest between Kentucky AmeriCorps programs as part of the Make a Difference Day effort. Each program collects canned foods in the counties they serve which are then donated to local shelters, food banks, backpack programs and schools.

MSUCorps AmeriCorps Program’s 29 members collected more than 15 tons of nonperishable food items. This equates to 16,760 ounces of food per member. Their effort allowed area food banks to feed 30,754 Kentuckians an eight-ounce serving.

The MSUCorps Program has been at MSU since 1994 with more than 640 members serving in 23 counties through the years. The mission of the program is to increase the educational success of high risk school-age children and youth by providing tutoring in math and reading. In addition, MSUCorps members volunteer for multiple community service projects to strengthen their communities.

A total of 14 groups and individuals from across the state were honored for their volunteer and service contributions today at a ceremony in Frankfort.

Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson and Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Secretary Audrey Tayse Haynes, presented the Governor’s Awards for Volunteerism and Service at the Governor’s Mansion. The awards honored for service completed in 2012.

“It is your spirit — the spirit of collaboration — that is keeping the Commonwealth strong,” he said. “Volunteers and national service members are saving lives and changing lives. Every time you serve your own neighborhoods, you are also serving as an example to others to continue and expand your good work,” said Abramson.

The Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service (KCCVS), a division within CHFS, coordinates the annual awards program.

The Governor’s Office launched the volunteer awards program in 1975. Since 1995, the KCCVS has administered the program. A panel of independent judges with experience in volunteerism and/or service chose award recipients in 12 categories.

Additional information is available from Williams by calling (606) 783-2719.