Written on: January 10th, 2013 in Helping Our Neighbors
Four years ago, Carla and I invited you to join us in a statewide Weekend of Service. You embraced that call to service and, with your enthusiasm and commitment, we were able to dramatically increase the reach of volunteerism in Delaware. We cannot thank you enough for the hundreds of thousands of hours you have spent helping those in need, proving Delaware is not just a state, but a state of neighbors.
That sense of community served as the catalyst behind Carla’s launch of “Project Renewal,” a campaign aimed to mobilize volunteers, community leaders and resources across the state in a coordinated effort to renew and upgrade the Boys and Girls Clubs of Delaware. Work has already been completed at the H. Fletcher Brown and Clarence Fraim Boys and Girls Club and, to kick off this year’s Week of Service, we have invited my staff and members of my Cabinet to join us in completing projects at the Laurel Boys and Girls Club in Sussex County.
Carla and I invite every Delaware to join in our Week of Service, which runs from Friday, January 11, through Monday, January 21. We hope each of you will take a little time out of your busy schedules to help others. Whether you’re cleaning up a community center like the Boys and Girls Clubs of Delaware, delivering lunches for Meals on Wheels or helping to construct a new home with Habitat for Humanity, I am sure it will be as rewarding for you as it is for the people you serve. To find a comprehensive list of service projects – big or small – in Delaware, please visit www.volunteerdelaware.org.
Every person can make a difference in the lives of others and in their communities. We believe that because we have seen it – in Delaware’s cities and small towns. In its schools, churches and nonprofit organizations. And, most importantly, we have seen the difference that reaching out and our shared connectedness has with countless families and individuals.
As we visit various organizations and lend our support to make a difference, we will celebrate the thousands of Delawareans who already volunteer, while encouraging others to donate their time and talent. It is our hope that every citizen who volunteers this week will continue volunteering not just for a week, but for a lifetime.
Written on: January 3rd, 2013 in Guest Posts
Guest post by Rita Landgraf, Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services
Earlier this week, we hosted an event at the Downtown Central YMCA in Wilmington to kick off “31 Days to a Healthier You,” a social media campaign offering healthy-living ideas and advice directly to Delawareans.
At the beginning of every New Year, people resolve to lose weight, stop smoking or exercise more. Those big goals have the best chance at succeeding if we break them down into small changes in our daily lives. “31 Days” will offer tips and advice on manageable steps that can add up to big rewards.
Our campaign will bring information to people via social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, flickr and Instagram. Look for the hashtag #healthDE. We also want Delawareans to interact with us. We know that those small steps can become lifestyle changes if we talk with others about what we’re doing and why.
As a state, we have made progress on several key health indicators. Our smoking levels are at historic lows. Our heart disease deaths have dropped significantly, and so has our cancer death rate.
But there are many more challenges. The prevalence of obesity among adults in Delaware has doubled from 1990 to 2010, with nearly two-thirds of adults now at an unhealthy weight. Unfortunately, that pattern of behavior extends to our young people, with 37 percent of Delaware children at an unhealthy weight in 2011.
We can do better. If you have seen Gov. Markell out cycling, you know how seriously he embraces an active lifestyle and the promotion of good health. In 2010, he appointed the Delaware Council on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention to help create a culture of health and wellness in our state. Today, please join our social media campaign and commit to a healthier you.