Recognizing the tough financial times our state and our fellow citizens faced, Carla and I replaced the traditional Inaugural Ball each Governor gets with a statewide weekend of service.
Over the years, we’d met so many wonderful Delawareans who gave so freely of their time, and their talents, to help their friends and neighbors.
At the time, we thought – forget having a party – let’s celebrate them, the volunteers whose enthusiasm and compassion help hold together this great state of neighbors. Let’s pull people together, across the state, and connect individuals looking to help with organizations who need a hand.
The response was overwhelming. So many people came out, so many people stood up and said – “let’s make Delaware the first state in service” that the original idea of one, inaugural weekend of service grew into an annual celebration of a full statewide Week of Service.
Carla and I – along with our new dog Rue – were so happy to help kick off the 2012 week of service last Sunday by joining the brave men and women of our state’s national guard, who shared their stories of service and their particular project they call their “War on Hunger.”
All across our great state, either as individuals or part of a community group; either as a team representing a great small business or by the hundreds from some of our state’s largest employers, people have been going that extra mile to help each other.
They’ve been logging on to VolunteerDelaware.org to find ways to help, turning out to the Delaware VOICES Listening Tour to share how they’re stepping up, or simply putting their head down and getting to work helping others.
It’s been inspiring to see, and inspiring to hear – and while we’ve been blessed to see so much of it first-hand, I’d like to ask a favor, if you don’t mind. If you’re launching a new volunteer effort this week, or keeping a weekly commitment- if you’re spending time helping a friend or neighbor – we’d love to know about it.
Share a photo of it with us by email at Governor.Markell@state.de.us, tweet it, tag it for us on Facebook – or put it up on our “Delawareans who make a difference” board on pinterest.com/govjackmarkell/
Give us the chance to share your story of service – the critical work you and other volunteers do, not only this week, but every week, to pull together and keep Delaware, moving forward.