Recent reports show Kansas ranks No. 5 in volunteerism, and with programs such as "Tigers in Service" -- a program matching volunteers with volunteer opportunities -- Fort Hays State University's Center for Civic Leadership is, literally, leading the way.
Because of the extreme dedication of the program’s directors and volunteers, Tigers in Service recently received the Kansas Governor’s Points of Light Award. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius initiated this award to show her deep appreciation for volunteer service in Kansas communities.
"Growing up, I constantly witnessed my mom, dad and older sister helping others with acts of service," said Katie Stucky, Cimarron, and co-director of Tigers in Service. "Today, I am even more motivated to volunteer after getting involved with Tigers in Service and meeting other students who share the same passion that I have."
The governor’s award is designed to honor those who have made a commitment to service in Kansas and in their communities. A maximum of three awards are given quarterly to recognize outstanding volunteer service by individuals, groups or communities. To be eligible for the award, all volunteer service must be completed in Kansas.
One of Tigers in Service's recent projects was Make a Difference Day, in which volunteers participated in projects such as creating care packages for military workers overseas and collecting nutritious food to send home with underprivileged children during holidays and breaks from school. Tigers in Service also takes groups of volunteers on annual alternative breaks in the winter and spring seasons. This year the volunteers helped out in Gulfport, Miss., and San Diego, Calif., working to help restore houses damaged by Hurricane Katrina and working in homeless shelters.
"I'm extremely proud of our staff, and more importantly the students of FHSU who have committed many hours of volunteerism to our community," said Dr. Curt Brungardt, director of the Center for Civic Leadership. "Not only are they learning valuable citizenship lessons, but they are also providing an important public service in our democracy. We are honored that Gov. Sebelius has recognized us. This award has encouraged us to double our efforts in the future to make a difference in Kansas."
Gov. Sebelius’ program stems from the awards and recognition programs of the national Points of Light Foundation. The national program also celebrates volunteers' successes and highlights the impact volunteers make on their communities.
"It is such an honor for Tigers in Service to receive this prestigious award," said Kiley Eisenhour, Stafford senior and co-director of Tigers in Service. "I am honored to have the privilege to work for this organization and be able to promote something I truly believe in. There are so many people and volunteers who have made Tigers in Service possible, and this award is because of all of those people."
Tigers in Service also won this year's national Make a Difference Day Award, which it has won three out of the last four years.
Tigers in Service is one of six programs at the Center for Civic Leadership. Other programs are Leadership Education and Development, the American Democracy Project, the Kansas Youth Leadership Academy, Leadership Papers and Service-Learning. All programs serve to provide high quality educational programs and initiatives to enhance civic leadership capabilities among participants.
The Center for Civic Leadership is located on the FHSU campus.
For more information, contact Brungardt at (785) 628-5592 or firstname.lastname@example.org.