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Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010 05:15 am


Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and Gov. Pat Quinn used the opportunity to encourage Illinoisans to volunteer on Jan. 18, proclaiming it the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

“Dr. Martin Luther King’s teachings and service to others can continue to guide us in addressing our most pressing needs including poverty, economic insecurity, job loss and education,” Quinn said.

Though the Day of Service has passed, it’s not too late to do some good. The Serve Illinois Commission maintains an online list of volunteer opportunities statewide, searchable by location and area of interest. The Web site,, boasts 60,000 opportunities, including chances to sponsor a blood drive, read to children or plant trees.

So what’s available in Sangamon County? There are about 190 local opportunities to put your skills to work at building houses for the needy, researching resources for the homeless, greeting visitors at the Illinois State Museum and more. There are even ways to help without leaving the comfort of your home. Check out the opportunities in your neighborhood and get involved for a good cause.

“Through volunteerism we can work together to help strengthen our communities,” Quinn said.