Governor and First Lady to Kick Off Delaware Week of Service with Events in Smyrna
NEW CASTLE – Gov. Jack Markell and first lady Carla Markell will begin the Delaware Week of Service on Sunday, April 15, with two events in Smyrna, the announcement of a weeklong public food drive by the Delaware National Guard and the beautification of the grounds of a historic home owned by the state.
The Markells will join members of the Guard for the announcement at noon Sunday, April 15 at the Smyrna Readiness Center, 103 Artisan Drive, Smyrna. The April 17-24 War on Hunger drive will benefit the Food Bank of Delaware.
At 1 p.m., the Markells will go to Belmont Hall, 512 S. DuPont Highway, to help and thank volunteers for planting trees and painting exterior buildings on the grounds of the historic home.
The Smyrna events begin the April 15-21 Week of Service in Delaware by calling attention to volunteerism across the state. The State Office of Volunteerism, the Governor’s Commission for Community and Volunteer Services and AmeriCorps work with such nonprofit groups as the Delaware Association of Nonprofit Agencies and the United Way of Delaware to foster and encourage volunteerism.
Delawareans can search for volunteer opportunities in their area by visiting www.VolunteerDelaware.org. Also, organizations and nonprofits are encouraged to list events and activities in which volunteers are needed – anything from clothing drives to river clean-ups.
“Each year, volunteers donate thousands of hours of service and provide vital services to many of their fellow Delawareans,” Gov. Markell said. “The Delaware Week of Service is meant to shine an even brighter spotlight on how we can make a difference in our communities by working together. It is gratifying to see so many people demonstrate the long-lasting power of giving.”
“I’m grateful to all Delawareans who come out to support important volunteerism efforts throughout our state,” Carla Markell said. “Volunteerism has become a vital part of our culture and helps to define our state as a caring place to live and work. From corporate involvement to one-on-one efforts, everything matters.”
In the past three thee years during monthly collections, Delaware’s soldiers and airmen have collected and donated more than 35,000 pounds of food items to the Food Bank of Delaware.
“As I began hearing stories of Delawareans struggling in the tough economy in 2008, I knew there was something we in the Guard could do,” Maj. Gen. Frank Vavala said. “This organization is filled with warriors who readily sacrifice their time, their blood, sweat and tears during war or state emergencies. I knew that they would step up to help their fellow citizens in need throughout the year. And they have in a resounding way.”
On Saturday, April 21, for Global Youth Service Day, more than 1,500 young people are expected at four Dover elementary schools and several other clean-up sites across the city.
“Volunteers provide important services to people in need, and that means more Delawareans receive the support and the help that can make a difference in their lives,” said Rita Landgraf, Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services, which oversee the State Office of Volunteerism. “It’s wonderful to see so many young people heed the call to give back. They are building not only a commitment to service, but also a connection to the larger community.”
DELAWARE WEEK OF SERVICE SCHEDULE: APRIL 15-21
Sunday, April 15 – Kick-Off Events
- Smyrna Readiness Center: Noon, announcement of Delaware National Guard food collection event, with Gov. Jack Markell and first lady Carla Markell joining Guard members. 103 Artisan Drive, Smyrna.
- Belmont Hall: 1 p.m., the Markells help and thank community for planting trees and painting exterior buildings on the grounds of the historic home. 512 S. DuPont Highway, Smyrna. Belmont Hall is one of the most historic homes in Delaware, with William Penn granting the 600-acre parcel of land on which it is located to Henry Pearman in 1684. Thomas Collins purchased the property in 1771, and in 1773, he completed the construction of the house as it exists today. Over the centuries, the estate passed through a number of direct and collateral descendants of Collins. Belmont Hall was sold to the state in 1987.
Monday, April 16
- Georgetown: Beginning at 2 p.m., roads within a one-block radius of Georgetown’s Circle will be closed for the afternoon as the city welcomes one of the famed USS Missouri’s 16-inch barrels (66 feet long and nearly 120 tons) to its permanent home in Sussex County. Events include a ceremony on The Circle beginning at 2 p.m., remarks by veterans and dignitaries, a “veterans march” around The Circle and down Market Street, photo opportunities with “Big Mo” and a flyover of World War II era aircraft. For more information, call Southern Delaware Tourism at 302-856-1818 or visit www.visitsoutherndelaware.com.
Tuesday, April 17
- Ingleside Retirement Apartments: 10 a.m., opening the porch for our residents by cleaning, planting, decorating the porch area along with the back deck area. Visit www.volunteerdelaware.org to sign up for this opportunity. 1005 N. Franklin St., Wilmington.
- Teen Volunteer presentation: 6:30 p.m., Kent County Library, 497 South Red Haven Lane, Dover.
- Abbott’s Mill Spring Spruce Up: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., remove invasive plant species, clean the turbine and maintain trails at the historic grist mill and nature center. All tools will be provided. Bring a bag lunch. Contact Christy Belardo at 239-2334, Ext. 111, or email Christy@delawarenaturesociety.org
- Delaware National Guard food drive: 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. April 17-24. War on Hunger campaign. Public can drop off food donations at the Delaware Army National Guard readiness centers in all three counties as well as the Delaware Air National Guard airbase in New Castle. Items collected will be donated to the Food Bank of Delaware.
Wednesday, April 18
- Gardeners by the Sea event, honoring “The Spirit of Volunteerism”: 12:30 p.m., Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf will be the keynote speaker. Cripple Creek Country Club, 29494 Cripple Creek Drive, Dagsboro.
- Teen Volunteer Fair: 7 p.m., Hockessin Library, 1023 Valley Road, Hockessin.
- Coverdale Farm Preserve: Noon-3 p.m., volunteers will prepare beds for spring, sow seeds and mulch beds. No gardening experience is necessary and tools will be provided. Coverdale Farm Preserve, 543 Way Road, Greenville. Contact Christy Belardo at 239-2334, Ext. 111, or email Christy@delawarenaturesociety.org
Thursday, April 19
- The Boys and Girls Clubs of Delaware will join clubs across the country in trying to break a Guinness world record for the largest game of tag. Clubs from across the state will play tag and participants will be tallied. Details: http://bgclubs.org/
- Smyrna Rotary Club: 7:30 a.m., Carrie Hart, volunteer service administrator, and Catherine Fox, marketing and media coordinator, both with the State Office of Volunteerism, speak to the club. Bridgeway Family Restaurant, 15 E. Glenwood Drive.
Friday, April 20
- Great Dames clothing drive across the state: 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. For specific times and locations: www.great-dames.com.
- All Boys and Girls Clubs in Delaware will have open houses. Drop by any club to get a tour. Also, it will be “Go Blue Day,” encouraging everyone to wear blue to support the Boys and Girls Clubs of Delaware. Details: bgclubs.org/
- Baylor Potter’s Field beautification, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Volunteer gardeners, and volunteers from DHSS will join AmeriCorps members in beautifying this area along the Delaware Greenway.
- Connecting Generations will speak about youth volunteerism at schools across Delaware.
- Start of Global Youth Service Day.
Saturday, April 21
- Volunteer fair: 1-3 p.m., Kent County Library, 497 South Red Haven Lane, Dover.
- Earth Day Festival: 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., volunteers will work the festival and assist in face painting, helping visitors with craft-making and other activities. Snacks will be available for purchase. DuPont Environmental Center, Wilmington Riverfront. Contact Christy Belardo at 239-2334, Ext. 111, or email Christy@delawarenaturesociety.org
- For Global Youth Service Day: Business, community and college teams will deploy throughout the Dover area to participate in a variety of clean-up activities. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Youth Ambassadors at South Dover Elementary, Town Pointe Elementary, Booker T. Washington Elementary, and Fairview Elementary will organize teams to clean and/or complete projects at those schools. Capital School Board has agreed to open schools that have teams working. To participate, go to www. VolunteerDelaware.org.
- Emergency Service Corp will provide a first aid station at Central Middle School.
- Teams are also planned for: grounds of Legislative Hall, Legislative Mall, Silver Lake Park, the Murphy School, Wesley College campus, DNREC with Glen Stubbulo and three Boy Scout groups, and the downtown Dover area.
- Looking for assistance with the following:
– In-kind donations for: water, snacks, lunches, brooms, gloves, trash bags, first aid supplies, etc.
– EZ-Up canopies are needed at Central Middle School.
- Comcast Cares Day: 8 a.m.-1 p.m., working with the Latin American Community Center and Habitat for Humanity in Wilmington. At LACC, cleaning, painting, organizing toys and landscaping. At Habitat, general construction. Volunteers will gather in the K lot at the Wilmington Riverfront. Buses will transport volunteers to both projects. (Limited parking is available at both project sites: Latin American Community Center, 403 N. Van Buren St. and Habitat for Humanity, East 22nd and Lamotte streets.
- Christina River Clean-up: 9 a.m.-1 p.m., 12 sites throughout northern New Castle County. Due to other activities, two sites will begin the clean-up early – the City of Newark at 7:30 a.m. and the Naamans Creek site at 8 a.m. For a list of clean-up sites with directions and to register, visit www.ChristinaRiverCleanup.org or call 302-838-1897. Volunteers are encouraged to register for one of the 12 sites before April 16, so adequate supplies can be provided to each site captain. Due to insurance requirements, volunteers under the age of 16 must have adult supervision.
For more information on the Delaware Week of Service or Volunteer Delaware, go to www.volunteerdelaware.org, or contact Carrie Hart, Volunteer Service Administrator, at (302) 857-5006.
For more information on the Global Youth Service Day, go to www.volunteerdelaware.org, or contact Catherine Fox, marketing and media coordinator for the State Office of Volunteerism, at (302) 255-9745.