Delegate Israel O’Quinn joined more than 3,000 elected officials across the country in a nationwide bipartisan initiative to highlight the impact of national service in tackling local problems.

“Service to one’s local community is one of the best ways to have an immediate and profound impact,” said Delegate O’Quinn. “Giving of time, talent and resources is a selfless way to assist a community and ensure local solutions to local issues.  I commend everyone who takes time to serve in their community.”

National Community Service members from across the region participated in activities including planting trees at the Harry L. Coomes Recreation Center and washing the locomotive at the Creeper Trail Head in Abingdon.

Delegate O’Quinn joined the regional celebration hosted by United Way of Southwest Virginia’s Volunteer Center, the town of Abingdon and Appalachian Community Action Agency to recognize the efforts of AmeriCorps across the region. “Community service typically begins well before one becomes an AmeriCorps volunteer. It begins in Scouts, or perhaps in school systems. It could be a requirement of an employer or a scholarship program. It could even begin at home,” said United Way Volunteer Center Manager, Deborah Loggans. “Regardless of the origin of ones commitment to civic engagement, AmeriCorps strengthens individual attitudes about community service and provides much needed resources for communities to thrive.”

Given the many social needs facing communities, county and city leaders are increasingly turning to national service as a cost-effective strategy to meet local needs.  More than 6400 AmeriCorps members serve in the Commonwealth providing vital support from mentoring children to restoring the environment.

The Mayor and County Day of Recognition for National Service is a nationwide bipartisan effort to recognize the positive impact of national service in counties, to thank those who serve, and to encourage citizens to give back to their communities.   The day is sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, and Cities of Service.

“National service shows the best of the American spirit – people turning toward problems instead of away, working together to find community solutions,” said the Honorable Terry Frye, member of Governor McAuliffe’s Advisory Board on Service and Volunteerism. “Today, as we thank national service members for their commitment, let us all pledge to do our part to strengthen our county through service and volunteering.”

Across the nation, elected officials and mayors are participating in a variety of activities, including visiting national service programs, hosting roundtables, issuing proclamations, and communicating about national service through social media.  By shining the spotlight on the impact of service and thanking those who serve, local officials hope to inspire more residents to get involved in their communities.

For more information including background and a list of participating county officials and mayors, visit NationalService.gov/RecognitionDay.