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MSUCorps-AmeriCorps program wins 'Make A Difference Day' award

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    From left, Mary Claire Williams, MSUCorps program director;

    Gov. Steve Beshear, and Rosita L. Napoleoni-Milan, program coordinator,

     at Kentucky Governor's Mansion.

For the third 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 fourth 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 holds 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 32 members collected more than 12 tons of nonperishable food items. Their efforts allowed area food banks to feed almost 48,000 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 at the ceremony in Frankfort.

Gov. Steve Beshear and Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Deputy Secretary Eric Friedlander presented the Governor’s Awards for Volunteerism and Service at the Governor’s Mansion. The awards honored service completed in 2013.

“It’s been said that a lot of people doing a little bit can make a big difference,” said Gov. Beshear. “You have shown that one person doing a lot, can cause a wave of change.”

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

Deputy Secretary Friedlander congratulated the honorees and said the awards give focus to a group that doesn’t seek out recognition for their service.

“You make such an impact on your communities with no expectation of reward,” he said. “These awards give us a chance to thank you for unselfishly serving and filling needs that sometimes even government cannot.”

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 606-783-5302.


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