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MSUCorps receives Kentucky AmeriCorps honors

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The MSUCorps/AmeriCorps program at Morehead State is dedicated to serving communities and aiding in student success – and its effort has received state recognition.

The 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.

USA Weekend’s Make A Difference Day is an annual event where corporations, charitable organizations, government leaders and ordinary citizens rally to provide a host of service projects to benefit their communities. The “Make A Difference Day” award coincides with the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service’s annual contest between Kentucky AmeriCorps programs. Each program collects canned foods in counties they serve, which are donated to local shelters, food banks, backpack programs and schools.

The MSUCorps’ 29 members collected more than 20 tons of nonperishable food items. These efforts allowed area food banks to feed 83,664 Kentuckians.

Mary Claire Williams (02), program director for MSUCorps/AmeriCorps, said it was a close competition between Kentucky’s AmeriCorps programs to win this award. She said in addition to the group’s hard work and dedication, the fact that the donations benefit the members’ hometowns and cities gave them extra motivation to succeed.

“We have very energetic and involved members who are very passionate about their communities,” Williams said. “Whatever food was collected went directly to their own community. When you do something local like that, people are going to help.”

The “Make A Difference Day” award is a traveling award and can be kept by a Kentucky AmeriCorps organization that wins it three consecutive years. MSUCorps also earned this award in 2008. Williams has already been trying to motivate her team to make sure they win this award for the next two years, but more importantly, that MSUCorps continues to provide its services and support to the children and citizens of Eastern Kentucky.

The MSUCorps program was established in 1964. The program’s mission is to give high risk, school-age children and youth increased educational success through tutoring services in reading and math. MSUCorps also volunteer in multiple community service projects to strengthen their communities. Since its existence, its more than 640 members have served 23 counties.

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